Pachytene piRNA biogenesis is a hallmark of the germline, distinct from another wave of pre-pachytene piRNA biogenesis with regard to the lack of a secondary amplification process known as the Ping-pong cycle. However, the underlying molecular mechanism and the venue for the suppression of the Ping-pong cycle remain elusive. Here, we showed that a testis-specific protein, ADAD2, interacts with a TDRD family member protein RNF17 and is associated with P-bodies. Importantly, ADAD2 directs RNF17 to repress Ping-pong activity in pachytene piRNA biogenesis. The P-body localization of RNF17 requires the intrinsically disordered domain of ADAD2. Deletion of Adad2 or Rnf17 causes the mislocalization of each other and subsequent Ping-pong activity derepression, secondary piRNAs overproduced, and disruption of P-body integrity at the meiotic stage, thereby leading to spermatogenesis arrested at the round spermatid stage. Collectively, by identifying the ADAD2-dependent mechanism, our study reveals a novel function of P-bodies in suppressing Ping-pong activity in pachytene piRNA biogenesis.

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