Heritable variation in courtship patterns in Drosophila melanogaster.
Bottom Line: We found heritable variation along the expected trajectory for courtship behaviors, including the tendency to initiate courtship and rate of progression through courtship, suggesting a genetic basis to male modulation of courtship behavior based on feedback from unrelated, outbred, and genetically identical females.We assessed the genetic basis of variation of the transition with the greatest heritability--from copulation to no engagement with the female--and identified variants in Serrate and Furin 1 as well as many other polymorphisms on the chromosome 3R associated with this transition.Our findings suggest that courtship is a highly dynamic behavior with both social and genetic inputs, and that males may play an important role in courtship initiation and duration.
Affiliation: Department of Biological Sciences, W. M. Keck Center for Behavioral Biology and Program in Genetics, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, North Carolina 27695-7614.Show MeSH
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Mentions: MMP (Ruedi and Hughes 2008) was observed using 8-arena “copulatrons” modeled after Drapeau and Long (2000) from Spring 2010 to Spring 2011 in five blocks (Figure 1). A total of 166 DGRP lines were assayed. Each line was assigned randomly to a block, and 10−15 males per DGRP line were assayed. Within each block, males were assigned randomly to trials and arenas of the copulatron to minimize the environmental variance; thus, multiple lines were assessed multiple days in a randomized manner. Approximately 18 hr before the start of the trial, males were lightly anesthetized with CO2 and placed in the lower portion of an arena. An opaque sheet of plastic was added, and virgin females (also lightly anesthetized with CO2) were placed in the upper portion of the arena. A clear Plexiglas lid was placed on the arena, and the flies were allowed to recover from anesthesia overnight at 25°. Both arena compartments contained fly food media to prevent starvation, desiccation, and general stress.
Affiliation: Department of Biological Sciences, W. M. Keck Center for Behavioral Biology and Program in Genetics, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, North Carolina 27695-7614.