Mating plugs are hardened structures—typically a coagulation of seminal fluid components—that are transferred to, or formed within, the female reproductive tract of numerous animal species (both mammals and insects). Analysis of the role(s) of the mating plug in reproduction has been conducted in a wide array of diverse species. These structures have been proposed to have a multitude of functions, which include altering female re-mating rate, acting as a barrier to re-mating and being required for sperm storage or sperm movement to occur in mated females. A recent analysis of the Drosophila melanogaster mating plug has shown that proper formation of the structure is required for optimal fertility in flies: the Drosophila mating plug is required to retain the ejaculate within the female reproductive tract once mating has terminated. Here, we discuss the possible implications of the Drosophila mating plug in the fertility of this species in light of these new results.

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Keywords Drosophila reproduction, Mating plug, PEBme, Sperm storage
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Journal Fly
Avila, F.W. (Frank W.), Wong, A, Sitnik, J.L. (Jessica L.), & Wolfner, M.F. (Mariana F.). (2015). Don’t pull the plug! the Drosophila mating plug preserves fertility. Fly, 9(2), 62–67. doi:10.1080/19336934.2015.1120931