A New Mutation Causing Male-Male Courtship in Drosophila
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Courtship in Drosophila is an innate behavior, one that is hardwired into the genetic architecture of the fly. A small number of mutations are known to disrupt the genes controlling the neurological basis of courtship; even fewer have been documented which cause male flies to actively pursue and court other male flies. Two established examples of such genes are fruitless and dissatisfaction, which probably function in a small number of CNS neurons to regulate behavior. A strain of flies was identified from an EMS mutagenesis screen for which males homozygous for the mutation display a male-male courtship phenotype. Original data indicated the male-male courtship may be associated with a male-sterile mutation on the second chromosome, but when the hypothesis was first tested the results proved otherwise. In an effort to determine more about the nature and location of the male-male courtship mutation so that a mapping strategy could be developed, new mutant lines with isolated single chromosomes were established from the original strain. One subsequent line was found to exhibit vigorous male-male courtship and is currently being used to determine if now, when placed in the known isogenized genetic background, the initial sterility mutation is still a player in producing the aberrant courtship.
Hanlon, Stacey LaRae (2007). A New Mutation Causing Male-Male Courtship in Drosophila. Available electronically from