Data from: Gene expression changes in male accessory glands during ageing are accompanied by reproductive decline in Drosophila melanogaster
Koppik, Mareike; Fricke, Claudia (2017), Data from: Gene expression changes in male accessory glands during ageing are accompanied by reproductive decline in Drosophila melanogaster, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.7m644
Senescence is accompanied by loss of reproductive functions. Here we studied reproductive ageing in Drosophila melanogaster males and asked whether the expected decline in male reproductive success is due to diminished functionality of the male accessory gland. The male accessory gland produces the majority of seminal fluid proteins (SFPs) transferred to the female at mating. SFPs induce female post-mating changes and are key to male reproductive success. We measured age-dependent gene expression changes for five representative SFP genes in males from four different age groups ranging from one to six weeks after eclosion. Simultaneously, we also measured male reproductive success in post-mating traits mediated by transfer of these five SFPs. We found a decrease in male SFP gene expression with advancing age and an accompanying decline in male post-mating success. Hence, male reproductive senescence is associated with a decline in functionality of the male accessory gland. While overall individual SFP genes decrease in expression our results point towards the idea that the composition of an ejaculate might change with male age as the rate of change was variable for those five genes.