Male accessory gland protein reduces egg laying in a simultaneous hermaphrodite

Joris M. Koene, Wiebe Sloot, Kora Montagne-Wajer, Scott F. Cummins, Bernard M. Degnan, John S. Smith, Gregg T. Nagle, Andries ter Maat

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

58 Scopus citations


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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere10117
JournalPloS one
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2010
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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