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  Activation of latent courtship circuitry in the brain of Drosophila females induces male-like behaviors

Rezával, C., Pattnaik, S., Pavlou, H. J., Nojima, T., Brüggemeier, B., D’Souza, L. A. D., et al. (2016). Activation of latent courtship circuitry in the brain of Drosophila females induces male-like behaviors. Current Biology, 26(18), 2508-2515. doi:10.1016/j.cub.2016.07.021.

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Rezával, Carolina, Author
Pattnaik, Siddharth, Author
Pavlou, Hania J., Author
Nojima, Tetsuya, Author
Brüggemeier, Birgit, Author
D’Souza, Luis A. D., Author
Dweck, Hany1, Author           
Goodwin, Stephen F., Author
Affiliations:
1Department of Neuroethology, Prof. B. S. Hansson, MPI for Chemical Ecology, Max Planck Society, ou_421894              

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 Abstract: Courtship in Drosophila melanogaster offers a powerful experimental paradigm for the study of innate sexually dimorphic behaviors [1, 2]. Fruit fly males exhibit an elaborate courtship display toward a potential mate [1, 2]. Females never actively court males, but their response to the male's display determines whether mating will actually occur. Sex-specific behaviors are hardwired into the nervous system via the actions of the sex determination genes doublesex (dsx) and fruitless (fru) [1]. Activation of male-specific dsx/fru(+) P1 neurons in the brain initiates the male's courtship display [3, 4], suggesting that neurons unique to males trigger this sex-specific behavior. In females, dsx(+) neurons play a pivotal role in sexual receptivity and post-mating behaviors [1, 2, 5-9]. Yet it is still unclear how dsx(+) neurons and dimorphisms in these circuits give rise to the different behaviors displayed by males and females. Here, we manipulated the function of dsx(+) neurons in the female brain to investigate higher-order neurons that drive female behaviors. Surprisingly, we found that activation of female dsx(+) neurons in the brain induces females to behave like males by promoting male-typical courtship behaviors. Activated females display courtship toward conspecific males or females, as well other Drosophila species. We uncovered specific dsx(+) neurons critical for driving male courtship and identified pheromones that trigger such behaviors in activated females. While male courtship behavior was thought to arise from male-specific central neurons, our study shows that the female brain is equipped with latent courtship circuitry capable of inducing this male-specific behavioral program.

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 Dates: 20162016-082016-09-26
 Publication Status: Published in print
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 Identifiers: Other: HAN278
DOI: 10.1016/j.cub.2016.07.021
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Title: Current Biology
  Other : Curr. Biol.
Source Genre: Journal
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Publ. Info: London, UK : Cell Press
Pages: - Volume / Issue: 26 (18) Sequence Number: - Start / End Page: 2508 - 2515 Identifier: ISSN: 0960-9822
CoNE: https://pure.mpg.de/cone/journals/resource/954925579107