Effect of seminal fluids in mating between M and S forms of Anopheles gambiae

F. Tripet, T. Thiemann, Gregory C Lanzaro

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23 Scopus citations


Previous studies have shown that sympatric populations of M and S molecular forms of Anopheles gambiae sensu stricto exhibit strong assortative mating. In the few documented cases of cross-mating between M and S forms, females that mated with a male of the alternative form were often also mated with a male of their own form. A potential explanation for the association between cross-mating and double mating could be that male accessory gland or sperm proteins that are responsible for inducing refractoriness to further mating by females have diverged between the M and S forms. This mechanism of postmating reproductive isolation would have important implications for our understanding of the speciation processes in the An. gambiae complex. We tested for this mechanism, by comparing the likelihood of mating, feeding, and laying eggs, as well as the fertility of females presented with males of their own form or the alternate form in the laboratory. We also compared the likelihood of remating in cross-mated and assortatively-mated females, and we analyzed their progeny to unravel patterns of sperm precedence. We found that cross-mated females differed from assortatively-mated females only in terms of egg-hatching rate and larval survival but that these effects could be attributed to hybrid vigor rather than differential response to seminal products. Cross-mating between forms was not associated with remating behavior. These results indicate that the sex proteins responsible for inhibiting further insemination and triggering the gonotrophic cycle in females have not diverged between these M and S populations. We discuss alternative explanations for the patterns of cross-mating and multiple mating observed in the field.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)596-603
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Medical Entomology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 2005


  • Assertive mating
  • Polyandry
  • Postmating reproductive isolation
  • Speciation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Insect Science
  • veterinary(all)


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