Activation of the T1 neuronal circuit is necessary and sufficient to induce sexually dimorphic mating behavior in Drosophila melanogaster

David S. Ronderos, Dean P. Smith

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

35 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The molecular and cellular events mediating complex behaviors in animals are largely unknown. Elucidating the circuits underlying behaviors in simple model systems may shed light on how these circuits function. In drosophila, courtship behavior provides a tractable model for studying the underlying basis of innate behavior. The male-specific pheromone 11-cis-vaccenyl acetate (cVA) modulates courtship behavior and is detected by T1 neurons, located on the antenna of male and female flies. The T1 neurons express the odorant receptor Or67d and are exquisitely tuned to cVA pheromone. However, cVA-induced changes in mating behavior have also been reported upon manipulation of olfactory neurons expressing odorant receptor Or65a. These findings raise the issue of whether multiple olfactorydriven circuits underlie cVA-induced behavioral responses and what role these circuits play in behavior. Here, we engineered flies in which the Or67d circuit is specifically activated in the absence of cVA to determine the role of this circuit in behavior. We created transgenic flies that express a dominant-active, pheromone-independent variant of the extracellular pheromone receptor, LUSH. We found that, similar to the behaviors elicited by cVA, engineered male flies have dramatically reduced courtship, whereas engineered females showed enhanced courtship. cVA exposure did not enhance the dominant LUSH-triggered effects on behavior in the engineered flies. Finally, we show the effects of both cVA and dominant LUSH on courtship are reversed by genetically removing Or67d. These findings demonstrate that the T1/Or67d circuit is necessary and sufficient to mediate sexually dimorphic courtship behaviors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2595-2599
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Neuroscience
Volume30
Issue number7
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 17 2010

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Drosophila melanogaster
Courtship
Diptera
Pheromones
Odorant Receptors
Neurons
Pheromone Receptors
Instinct
Animal Behavior
11-cis-vaccenyl acetate
Drosophila

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)

Cite this

Activation of the T1 neuronal circuit is necessary and sufficient to induce sexually dimorphic mating behavior in Drosophila melanogaster. / Ronderos, David S.; Smith, Dean P.

In: Journal of Neuroscience, Vol. 30, No. 7, 17.02.2010, p. 2595-2599.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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