Navigation Links
Fly's courtship sheds light on the formation of innate behaviors

By studying how genes influence the development and use of neural circuits that control a specific set of mating behaviors in the fruit fly, researchers have provided new insight into how instinctual behaviors ?those that are not based on prior experience ?arise in the developing nervous system. The work is reported by Jean-Christophe Billeter and other members of Stephen Goodwin's group at the University of Glasgow, along with research groups at Brandeis and California State University, and appears in the June 6th issue of Current Biology.

Instinctual behaviors, such as suckling in newborns, or the flight-fight response, are generally seen as subconscious drives underlying the actions of humans and other animals. Yet the manner by which these innate behaviours are hard-wired into our brains remains obscure.

In their new work, the researchers set out to address this question using mutations that perturb the stereotypical male courtship behavior of the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster. The male fly, in its attempt to mate, will perform a series of complex behaviours ?including following females, singing, licking, and tapping ?that are not based on the fly's past experience. One gene, fruitless, has been shown to be pivotal to the emergence of these stereotypical behaviours. Fruitless is known to generate a variety of similar but functionally different proteins, some of which are exclusively expressed in male flies.

Using a mutant that specifically disrupts one form of the Fruitless protein, the researchers showed that the male fly's sexual behavior is not a closed neural circuit, but rather a series of independent but interlinked steps that are regulated to have an additive effect on the success of the courtship behavior as a whole.

Studying various mutants, the researchers were able to uncouple the later steps of copulation from the earlier courtship steps, assigning specific populations of neurons to the behaviors involved, and the reby going a long way in describing how the neural code for these behaviors is formulated in the developing fly's brain. This work, in conjunction with other studies performed by these and other research groups in recent years, shows how fundamentally important one gene can be to effecting a behavior, and how that behavior can be altered (and potentially evolve) as the gene itself is affected by external cues, by interactions with other genes, and by the organism's neuronal environments.


'"/>

Source:Cell Press


Related biology news :

1. Past experience of pheromones induces dominant courtship behavior in fruit flies
2. Bacteria collection sheds light on urinary tract infections
3. Sea skate experiment sheds light on human cell transport
4. Bacterial genome sheds light on synthesizing cancer-fighting compounds
5. Newly discovered genetic disease sheds light on bodys water balance
6. Multi-species genome comparison sheds new light on evolutionary processes, cancer mutations
7. Gene discovery sheds light on causes of rare disease, cancer
8. Skull study sheds light on dinosaur diversity
9. OHSU discovery sheds light into how stem cells become brain cells
10. Clock molecules sensitivity to lithium sheds light on bipolar disorder
11. Lizard third eye sheds light on evolution of color vision
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:


(Date:2/1/2016)... Rising sales of consumer electronics ... intuitive gesture control market size ... consumer electronics coupled with new technological advancements to drive ... through 2020   --> ... advancements to drive global touchfree intuitive gesture control market ...
(Date:1/27/2016)...  Rite Track, Inc. a leading semiconductor equipment and ... Ohio announced today the acquisition of PLUS LLC. ... Austin, Texas , will significantly bolster ... installations and technical support offerings for TEL Track Systems. ... "PLUS has provided world class service including refurbishment, enhancements ...
(Date:1/22/2016)... 22, 2016 ... the "Global Biometrics Market in Retail ... --> http://www.researchandmarkets.com/research/p74whf/global_biometrics ) has ... Biometrics Market in Retail Sector 2016-2020" ... Research and Markets ( http://www.researchandmarkets.com/research/p74whf/global_biometrics ) ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:2/6/2016)... Virginia (PRWEB) , ... February 06, 2016 , ... ... E-mail: amitchell(at)cee(dot)org , The Center for Excellence in Education Sponsors Teacher Training ... VA – February 4, 2016 – The Center for Excellence in Education (CEE) ...
(Date:2/5/2016)... DIEGO , Feb. 5, 2016 On ... region,s trusted information source for community, health and disaster ... Diego) will integrate to enhance care coordination and ... to the services they need and to better connect ... improve care.   San Diego ...
(Date:2/4/2016)... ... February 04, 2016 , ... Morf ... today announced an interactive FDA compliance training course, Writing Effective ... Professional Society) accredited interactive course on Morf Playbook—now conveniently available on smartphones and ...
(Date:2/4/2016)... ... February 04, 2016 , ... ... and triple quad LC-MS, host live demos and poster sessions, and present on ... exhibition. The conference takes place March 6 to 10 at the Georgia World ...
Breaking Biology Technology: