• Male accessory gland protein reduces egg laying in a simultaneous hermaphrodite.

      Koene, Joris M; Sloot, Wiebe; Montagne-Wajer, Kora; Cummins, Scott F; Degnan, Bernard M; Smith, John S; Nagle, Gregg T; ter Maat, Andries; Department of Cellular Biology and Anatomy (2010-04-20)
      Seminal fluid is an important part of the ejaculate of internally fertilizing animals. This fluid contains substances that nourish and activate sperm for successful fertilization. Additionally, it contains components that influence female physiology to further enhance fertilization success of the sperm donor, possibly beyond the recipient's optimum. Although evidence for such substances abounds, few studies have unraveled their identities, and focus has been exclusively on separate-sex species. We present the first detailed study into the seminal fluid composition of a hermaphrodite (Lymnaea stagnalis). Eight novel peptides and proteins were identified from the seminal-fluid-producing prostate gland and tested for effects on oviposition, hatching and consumption. The gene for the protein found to suppress egg mass production, Ovipostatin, was sequenced, thereby providing the first fully-characterized seminal fluid substance in a simultaneous hermaphrodite. Thus, seminal fluid peptides and proteins have evolved and can play a crucial role in sexual selection even when the sexes are combined.