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Diana E. Wheeler

University of Arizona

The accessory glands of reproductive systems in both female and male insects produce secretions that function in sperm maintenance, transport, and fertilization. In addition, accessory glands in females provide protective coatings for eggs. Accessory glands can be organs distinct from the main reproductive tract, or they can be specialized regions of the gonadal ducts (ducts leading from the ovaries or testes). Typically, glandular tissue is composed of two cell types: one that is secretory and the other that forms a duct. The interplay between male and female secretions from accessory glands is a key element in the design of diverse mating systems.

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