Navigation Links
For the fruit fly, everything changes after sex

This release is also available in German.

IMP Director Barry Dickson and his group are interested in the genetic basis of innate behaviour. They focus on the reproductive behaviour of the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster. Two years ago, the team was able to identify the fruitless gene as a key regulator of mating behaviour.

For 20 years, scientists have been trying to identify another molecular switch which changes the behaviour of female insects after mating. It makes them lose interest in further sexual contact and start laying eggs. Mosquitoes, once fertilized, look out for a meal of blood and may transmit the malaria parasite along the way.

The trigger for the behavioral switch is a factor present in the seminal fluid of male insects. This sex peptide (SP), as it is called in Drosophila, has been known to scientists for quite a while. Nilay Yapici, a PhD student in Barry Dicksons team, has now identified the receptor (SPR) responsible for the effect of SP and thus revealed the underlying molecular mechanism. She also showed that the gene for SPR is active in the reproductive organs as well as the brain of the flies.

To get this far, it took two years of painstaking work and a scientific tool which was developed over the past few years by the Dickson group. This Drosophila RNAi Library is a collection of 22,000 fly strains and has recently been made available to researchers worldwide. Due to this collection, it is now possible to switch off any chosen gene in the fly. By doing so, neurobiologists are able to identify genes that influence behaviour.

Nilay Yapici studied 22,000 female flies and observed how they behaved after mating. In 130 cases, she found flies which continued to mate and laid very few or no eggs. Further evaluation of these genes and subsequent experiments with cell cultures led to the identification of the long-sought receptor, SPR. By activating or disrupting SPR in specific neurons, the receptor could be localized in the central nervous system of the fly.

Apart from the benefit to basic research, the discovery might offer new approaches for controlling the reproductive or host-seeking behaviours of various agricultural pests and human disease carriers. The molecular mechanism has remained remarkably stable in the course of evolution and SPR-like receptors can be found in many insect species. Ms. Yapici thinks that It might be possible to develop a substance that blocks the receptor SPR. This inhibitor would work as a kind of birth control pill: female insects would continue to mate but would not lay eggs.


Contact: Heidemarie Hurtl
Research Institute of Molecular Pathology

Related medicine news :

1. Coloring Compound in Fruits, Veggies May Cut Colon Cancer Risk
2. Scientists detect presence of marburg virus in african fruit bats
3. Pollen, Fruits, Veggies Help Trigger Oral Allergy Syndrome
4. Get Your Fruits & Veggies: CDC
5. Fruity vegetables and fish reduce asthma and allergies
6. P.A.C.K. Week Declared in Support of Fruits & Veggies-More Matters Month
7. Produce for Better Health Foundation Releases Statement on Study Saying Fruit & Vegetable Consumption Not Strongly Associated With Colon Cancer Risk
8. Fruits, Veggies Wont Lower Colon Cancer Risk
9. Fruit and vegetables health
10. Abbott Launches Fruitified(TM) ZonePerfect(R) All-Natural Nutrition Bars
11. Fish, Fruits, Veggies May Cut Dementia Risk
Post Your Comments:
(Date:6/26/2016)... ... June 26, 2016 , ... Many women ... diagnosed with endometriosis. These women need a treatment plan to not only alleviate ... that can help for preservation of fertility and ultimately achieving a pregnancy. The ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... Austin, TX (PRWEB) , ... June 25, 2016 , ... ... Fellow of the American College of Mohs Surgery and to Dr. Russell Peckham for ... popular and highly effective treatment for skin cancer. The selective fellowship in Mohs Micrographic ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... June 25, 2016 , ... "With 30 ... their specific project," said Christina Austin - CEO of Pixel Film Studios. , ... and all within Final Cut Pro X . Simply select a ProHand generator ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... June 25, 2016 , ... As a lifelong Southern Californian, Dr. ... his M.D from the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. He trained in ... to complete his fellowship in hematology/oncology at the UCLA-Olive View-Cedars Sinai program where he ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... ... Friday, June 10, Van Mitchell, Secretary of the Maryland Department of Health and Mental ... exemplary accomplishments in worksite health promotion. , The Wellness at Work Awards took place ... BWI Marriott in Linthicum Heights. iHire was one of 42 businesses to receive an ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/26/2016)... OTTAWA, Ontario , June 27, 2016  VMS ... the Company,s Board will take whatever measures required to ... the Company,s stock which is currently listed on the ... S Wexler, Company Chairman and CEO, "We are seeing ... be difficult to understand, not only by the Company, ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... 24, 2016  Collagen Matrix, Inc., ("Collagen Matrix") ... manufacturing of collagen and mineral based medical devices ... Bill Messer has joined the company ... leverage the growing portfolio of oral surgery, neurosurgery, ... Bill joins the Collagen Matrix executive team as ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... DUBLIN , June 24, 2016 ... and Markets has announced the addition of the ... their offering. ... products and provides an updated review, including its applications ... covering the total market, which includes three main industries: ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: