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Binucleation of male accessory gland cells in the common bed bug Cimex lectularius


The insect male accessory gland (MAG) is an internal reproductive organ responsible for the synthesis and secretion of seminal fluid components, which play a pivotal role in the male reproductive strategy. In many species of insects, the effective ejaculation of the MAG products is essential for male reproduction. For this purpose, the fruit fly Drosophila has evolved binucleation in the MAG cells, which causes high plasticity of the glandular epithelium, leading to an increase in the volume of seminal fluid that is ejaculated. However, such a binucleation strategy has only been sporadically observed in Dipteran insects, including fruit flies. Here, we report the discovery of binucleation in the MAG of the common bed bug, Cimex lectularius, which belongs to hemimetabolous Hemiptera phylogenetically distant from holometabolous Diptera. In Cimex, the cell morphology and timing of synchrony during binucleation are quite different from those of Drosophila. Additionally, in Drosophila, the position of the two nuclei in the adult stage changes as a result of the mating history or the nutrient conditions; however, it remains stable in Cimex. These differences suggest that binucleation in the Cimex MAG plays a unique role in the male reproductive system that is distinct from that of Drosophila.

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