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: We identified heritable variation in the courtship patterns of male D. melanogaster. To test whether discrete differences in transition probabilities might have a multivariate covariance structure, we performed a FA on the line means of each behavioral transition probability based on the significant eigenvectors in a principal component analysis (see the section Materials and Methods). Factor 1 explained 16.09% of the variance, and Factor 2 explained 12.87% of the variance in the transition matrices (Table 4). Both Factor 1 and Factor 2 load negatively with a copulation−copulation transition, and overall loading weights are uncorrelated between Factor 1 and Factor 2 (r = 0.13, P = 0.51). We compared these factors with the overall MMP score (Figure 4) and found that lines with high probabilities for copulation−copulation transitions (loading negatively on Factors 1 and 2) had the greatest MMP scores, which is internally consistent as these males are observed copulating the most. Factor 1 distinguishes these high MMP males from those with mid-range MMP scores, whereas Factor 2 distinguishes high MMP males from those with the lowest MMP scores. Thus, although there is little variation among lines with high copulation success, it appears that lines with low and moderate success are performing qualitatively different behaviors.
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.