Navigation Links
Past experience of pheromones induces dominant courtship behavior in fruit flies

By investigating the interplay between pheromone signaling and behavior in fruit flies, researchers have begun to understand how an adult fly's earlier experience as a young individual can influence its behavior towards other flies as an adult. In particular, the researchers found that pheromone signals in the context of experience with adult flies can influence how young flies will behave once they reach maturity.

The work is reported by Jean-Francois Ferveur and colleagues at the Universite de Bourgogne, France, and the University of Manchester, United Kingdom.

When an adult male fruit fly encounters a young male fly, he will actively court the younger individual, sometimes becoming aggressive. These young males that have encountered older flies will go on to similarly dominate other adult males that had encountered only young flies--something in the early experience of the "dominant" flies makes them more aggressive. In the new work, researchers investigated exactly what it is about past experience of these flies that influences adult behavior. Clues caused the researchers to suspect that a key role was played by a chemical signal--a pheromone--carried by adult males during the early encounter.

To prove this, the researches used mutant flies that lack the normal adult pheromones, and they covered these pheromone-defective flies with a variety of other smells. The researchers were able to demonstrate that a male shows courtship dominance behavior over young males if he has been exposed to the smell of normal adult males during a critical period in his life--the first 24 hours. In fact, an encounter with a single adult male was sufficient to make males exhibit dominance behavior when they reached adulthood. The researchers found that, intriguingly, it was not enough for young males to smell these pheromones--the pheromones had to be carried by active adult males. The effect was so strong that males carried on exhibiting courtship dominance be havior until they were five days old.

The authors of the study note that similar findings have been reported in mice and hamsters, suggesting that dominance behavior may often be affected by chemical signals. In future studies, the researchers hope to take the next step in understanding how dominance behavior develops and thereby to identify which parts of the fly's brain are involved in processing dominance-inducing signals.


Source:Cell Press

Related biology news :

1. Penguin chicks exposed to human visitors experience spike in stress hormone
2. Virtual animal shelters ?How the Internet is transforming the experience of pet adoptions
3. When mice choose mates, experience counts
4. Brain differences could explain why males and females experience pain relief differently
5. Just the expectation of a mirthful laughter experience boosts endorphins 27 percent, HGH 87 percent
6. Long-term changes in experience cause neurons to sprout new long-lasting connections
7. Hopkins scientists show hallucinogen in mushrooms creates universal mystical experience
8. Out-of-body experiences may be caused by arousal system disturbances in brain
9. Researchers find how protein allows insects to detect and respond to pheromones
10. Olfactory system detects pheromones that control reproduction
11. Human trial proves ricin vaccine safe, induces neutralizing antibodies; further tests planned
Post Your Comments:

(Date:11/2/2015)... MENLO PARK, Calif. , Nov. 2, 2015 /PRNewswire/ ... to $9 million to provide preclinical development services to ... Under the contract, SRI will provide scientific expertise, modern ... a wide variety of preclinical pharmacology and toxicology studies ... --> --> The PREVENT Cancer Drug ...
(Date:10/29/2015)... RESTON, Va. , Oct. 29, 2015 ... announced today that it has released a new version ... Daon customers in North America ... gains. IdentityX v4.0 also includes a FIDO UAF ... customers are already preparing to activate FIDO features. These ...
(Date:10/29/2015)... 29, 2015 NXTD ) ... focused on the growing mobile commerce market and ... StackCommerce, a leading marketplace to discover and buy ... smart wallet on StackSocial for this holiday season. ... the "Company"), a biometric authentication company focused on ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:11/27/2015)... , Nov. 27, 2015 /PRNewswire/--  Mallinckrodt plc (NYSE: ... today that it has closed the sale of its ... Guerbet (GBT- NYSE Euronext) in a transaction valued at ... manufacturing facilities and a total of approximately 1,000 employees ... St. Louis area. This entire ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... England , November 26, 2015 ... medical device company specializing in imaging technologies, announced today that ... Commission as part of the Horizon 2020 European Union Framework ... out a large-scale clinical trial in breast cancer. ... , --> --> ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... 25, 2015 Studies reveal the ... plaque and pave the way for more effective treatment for ...     --> --> ... health problems in cats, yet relatively little was understood about ... studies have been conducted by researchers from the WALTHAM Centre ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... ... 25, 2015 , ... A long-standing partnership between the Academy ... been formalized with the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding. , AMA Executive ... Karl Minter and Capt. Albert Glenn Tuesday, November 24, 2015, at AMA Headquarters ...
Breaking Biology Technology: