Mating elicits two postmating responses in many insect females: the egg laying rate increases and sexual receptivity is reduced. In Drosophila melanogaster, two peptides of the male genital tract, sex-peptide and DUP99B, elicit these postmating responses when injected into virgin females. Here we show that the gene encoding DUP99B is expressed in the male ejaculatory duct and in the cardia of both sexes. The DUP99B that is synthesized in the ejaculatory duct is transferred, during mating, into the female genital tract. Expression of the gene is first seen in a late pupal stage. Males containing an intact ejaculatory duct, but lacking accessory glands, initiate the two postmating responses in their female partners [Xue, L. & Noll, M. (2000) Proc. Natl Acad. Sci. USA97, 3272-3275]. Although such males synthesize DUP99B in wild-type quantities, they elicit only weak postmating responses in their mating partners. Males lacking the Dup99B gene elicit the two postmating responses to the same extent as wild-type males. These results suggest that both sex-peptide and DUP99B can elicit both responses in vivo. However, sex-peptide seems to play the major role in eliciting the postmating responses, while DUP99B may have specialized for other, as yet unknown, functions.