, Volume 7, Issue 4, pp 291-312

Portions of the central nervous system controlling reproductive behavior inDrosophila melanogaster

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Drosophila melanogaster sex mosaics were tested in their courtship interactions with females and then with males. The distribution of genetically male and female tissues in each mosaic was determined with respect to an external cuticle marker and an internal enzyme marker. Performance of malelike courtship was correlated with the genotype of various tissues, with special attention being paid to the genotypes of head and thoracic ganglia. Male tissue in the left or right dorsal brain is necessary and nearly always sufficient to trigger early courtship actions—following of females and wing extension at them—but male tissue in both the dorsal brain and thoracic ganglia is necessary for attempted copulation to occur. Female tissue on or in the abdomen is nearly always necessary and sufficient for a mosaic to be courted by a male.

This research was supported by Grant GM-21473 from the U.S. Public Health Service, and by NIH Biomedical Science Support Grant RR 07044 to Brandeis University.