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Sensory integration regulating male courtship behavior in Drosophila.

Krstic D, Boll W, Noll M - PLoS ONE (2009)

Bottom Line: By systematic analysis of how variations in sensory inputs alter the courtship behavior of a naïve male in the single-choice courtship paradigm, we derive a model describing the logic of the network that integrates the various sensory stimuli and elicits this complex innate behavior.This approach and the model derived from it distinguish (i) between initiation and maintenance of courtship, (ii) between courtship in daylight and in the dark, where the male uses a scanning strategy to retrieve the decamping female, and (iii) between courtship towards receptive virgin females and mature males.The model will complement studies on the connectivity and intrinsic properties of the neurons forming the circuitry that regulates male courtship behavior.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Institute for Molecular Biology, University of Zürich, Zürich, Switzerland.

ABSTRACT
The courtship behavior of Drosophila melanogaster serves as an excellent model system to study how complex innate behaviors are controlled by the nervous system. To understand how the underlying neural network controls this behavior, it is not sufficient to unravel its architecture, but also crucial to decipher its logic. By systematic analysis of how variations in sensory inputs alter the courtship behavior of a naïve male in the single-choice courtship paradigm, we derive a model describing the logic of the network that integrates the various sensory stimuli and elicits this complex innate behavior. This approach and the model derived from it distinguish (i) between initiation and maintenance of courtship, (ii) between courtship in daylight and in the dark, where the male uses a scanning strategy to retrieve the decamping female, and (iii) between courtship towards receptive virgin females and mature males. The last distinction demonstrates that sexual orientation of the courting male, in the absence of discriminatory visual cues, depends on the integration of gustatory and behavioral feedback inputs, but not on olfactory signals from the courted animal. The model will complement studies on the connectivity and intrinsic properties of the neurons forming the circuitry that regulates male courtship behavior.

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Chaining behavior of taste-deficient males.(A) Chain of four courting Poxn-pRes males. The picture was taken 5 minutes after eight mature, but sexually naïve, Poxn-pRes males were placed together into a small Petri dish. (B) In addition to the average chaining indices for groups of eight males of indicated genotypes, the number of groups for which chaining was observed over the total number of groups examined is shown for each genotype.
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pone-0004457-g008: Chaining behavior of taste-deficient males.(A) Chain of four courting Poxn-pRes males. The picture was taken 5 minutes after eight mature, but sexually naïve, Poxn-pRes males were placed together into a small Petri dish. (B) In addition to the average chaining indices for groups of eight males of indicated genotypes, the number of groups for which chaining was observed over the total number of groups examined is shown for each genotype.

Mentions: The chaining behavior of males [4] has also been used as a criterion to measure the intensity of male–male courtship [13]. When groups of eight Poxn-pRes; Or83b2 males were placed in a Petri dish, some of them started courting each other and formed courtship chains (Movie S4). Courtship chains were also observed with males lacking only gustatory perception (Poxn-pRes in Figure 8A), but not with Or83b2 males deficient only for olfactory perception or with wild-type and Poxn-SuperA control males (Figure 8B). In the absence of taste perception, males were forming chains of usually 3–4 individuals within an average of 5 minutes after being placed into the dish. However, chains were not observed in all groups during the observation period, and the chaining behavior, measured by the chaining index, was not very intense (Poxn-pRes and Poxn-pRes; Or83b2 in Figure 8B).


Sensory integration regulating male courtship behavior in Drosophila.

Krstic D, Boll W, Noll M - PLoS ONE (2009)

Chaining behavior of taste-deficient males.(A) Chain of four courting Poxn-pRes males. The picture was taken 5 minutes after eight mature, but sexually naïve, Poxn-pRes males were placed together into a small Petri dish. (B) In addition to the average chaining indices for groups of eight males of indicated genotypes, the number of groups for which chaining was observed over the total number of groups examined is shown for each genotype.
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC2636894&req=5

pone-0004457-g008: Chaining behavior of taste-deficient males.(A) Chain of four courting Poxn-pRes males. The picture was taken 5 minutes after eight mature, but sexually naïve, Poxn-pRes males were placed together into a small Petri dish. (B) In addition to the average chaining indices for groups of eight males of indicated genotypes, the number of groups for which chaining was observed over the total number of groups examined is shown for each genotype.
Mentions: The chaining behavior of males [4] has also been used as a criterion to measure the intensity of male–male courtship [13]. When groups of eight Poxn-pRes; Or83b2 males were placed in a Petri dish, some of them started courting each other and formed courtship chains (Movie S4). Courtship chains were also observed with males lacking only gustatory perception (Poxn-pRes in Figure 8A), but not with Or83b2 males deficient only for olfactory perception or with wild-type and Poxn-SuperA control males (Figure 8B). In the absence of taste perception, males were forming chains of usually 3–4 individuals within an average of 5 minutes after being placed into the dish. However, chains were not observed in all groups during the observation period, and the chaining behavior, measured by the chaining index, was not very intense (Poxn-pRes and Poxn-pRes; Or83b2 in Figure 8B).

Bottom Line: By systematic analysis of how variations in sensory inputs alter the courtship behavior of a naïve male in the single-choice courtship paradigm, we derive a model describing the logic of the network that integrates the various sensory stimuli and elicits this complex innate behavior.This approach and the model derived from it distinguish (i) between initiation and maintenance of courtship, (ii) between courtship in daylight and in the dark, where the male uses a scanning strategy to retrieve the decamping female, and (iii) between courtship towards receptive virgin females and mature males.The model will complement studies on the connectivity and intrinsic properties of the neurons forming the circuitry that regulates male courtship behavior.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Institute for Molecular Biology, University of Zürich, Zürich, Switzerland.

ABSTRACT
The courtship behavior of Drosophila melanogaster serves as an excellent model system to study how complex innate behaviors are controlled by the nervous system. To understand how the underlying neural network controls this behavior, it is not sufficient to unravel its architecture, but also crucial to decipher its logic. By systematic analysis of how variations in sensory inputs alter the courtship behavior of a naïve male in the single-choice courtship paradigm, we derive a model describing the logic of the network that integrates the various sensory stimuli and elicits this complex innate behavior. This approach and the model derived from it distinguish (i) between initiation and maintenance of courtship, (ii) between courtship in daylight and in the dark, where the male uses a scanning strategy to retrieve the decamping female, and (iii) between courtship towards receptive virgin females and mature males. The last distinction demonstrates that sexual orientation of the courting male, in the absence of discriminatory visual cues, depends on the integration of gustatory and behavioral feedback inputs, but not on olfactory signals from the courted animal. The model will complement studies on the connectivity and intrinsic properties of the neurons forming the circuitry that regulates male courtship behavior.

Show MeSH
Related in: MedlinePlus