Binucleation of accessory gland lobe contributes to effective ejection of seminal fluid in drosophila melanogaster

Kiichiro Taniguchi, Akihiko Kokuryo, Takao Imano, Hideki Nakagoshi, Takashi Adachi-Yamada

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


The adult male accessory gland in insects is an internal reproductive organ analogous to the mammalian prostate, and secretes various components in the seminal fluid. Products of the accessory gland in the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster are known to control reproductive behaviors in mated females, such as food uptake, oviposition rate, and rejection of re-mating with other males, all of which increase male reproductive capacity. Production of larger amounts of accessory gland products is thus thought to result in higher male reproductive success. The epithelium of the Drosophila accessory gland lobe is composed of a unique population of binucleate cells. We previously predicted, based on measurements of cell size in mono/binucleate mosaic accessory glands, that binucleation results in a higher plasticity in cell shape, enabling more effective ejection of seminal fluid. However, the actual effect of binucleation on ejection of seminal fluid or reproductive capacity remained unclear, as we were unable to generate an organ with uniformly mononucleate cells. In the present study, we generated organs in which most of the epithelial cells are mononucleate by manipulating aurora B or fizzy-related to block binucleation. Mononucleation resulted in a less elastic accessory gland lobe, which decreased ejection volume and the oviposition of mated females; these effects were particularly pronounced over the long term. These results suggest that binucleation in accessory gland epithelial cells contributes to higher plasticity in the volume of this organ, and enhances male reproductive success through enabling ejection of larger amounts of seminal fluid.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)446-458
Number of pages13
JournalZoological science
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2018


  • Drosophila melanogaster
  • accessory gland protein
  • binucleate state
  • male accessory gland
  • reproduction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Animal Science and Zoology


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