Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Past experience of pheromones induces dominant courtship behavior in fruit flies

11.10.2005


By investigating the interplay between pheromone signaling and behavior in fruit flies, researchers have begun to understand how an adult fly’s earlier experience as a young individual can influence its behavior towards other flies as an adult. In particular, the researchers found that pheromone signals in the context of experience with adult flies can influence how young flies will behave once they reach maturity. The work is reported by Jean-Francois Ferveur and colleagues at the Universite de Bourgogne, France, and the University of Manchester, United Kingdom.

When an adult male fruit fly encounters a young male fly, he will actively court the younger individual, sometimes becoming aggressive. These young males that have encountered older flies will go on to similarly dominate other adult males that had encountered only young flies--something in the early experience of the "dominant" flies makes them more aggressive. In the new work, researchers investigated exactly what it is about past experience of these flies that influences adult behavior. Clues caused the researchers to suspect that a key role was played by a chemical signal--a pheromone--carried by adult males during the early encounter.

To prove this, the researches used mutant flies that lack the normal adult pheromones, and they covered these pheromone-defective flies with a variety of other smells. The researchers were able to demonstrate that a male shows courtship dominance behavior over young males if he has been exposed to the smell of normal adult males during a critical period in his life--the first 24 hours. In fact, an encounter with a single adult male was sufficient to make males exhibit dominance behavior when they reached adulthood. The researchers found that, intriguingly, it was not enough for young males to smell these pheromones--the pheromones had to be carried by active adult males. The effect was so strong that males carried on exhibiting courtship dominance behavior until they were five days old.



The authors of the study note that similar findings have been reported in mice and hamsters, suggesting that dominance behavior may often be affected by chemical signals. In future studies, the researchers hope to take the next step in understanding how dominance behavior develops and thereby to identify which parts of the fly’s brain are involved in processing dominance-inducing signals.

Heidi Hardman | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.current-biology.com

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Cryo-electron microscopy achieves unprecedented resolution using new computational methods
24.03.2017 | DOE/Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

nachricht How cheetahs stay fit and healthy
24.03.2017 | Forschungsverbund Berlin e.V.

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Giant Magnetic Fields in the Universe

Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.

The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.

Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...

Im Focus: Tracing down linear ubiquitination

Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.

Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...

Im Focus: Perovskite edges can be tuned for optoelectronic performance

Layered 2D material improves efficiency for solar cells and LEDs

In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...

Im Focus: Polymer-coated silicon nanosheets as alternative to graphene: A perfect team for nanoelectronics

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...

Im Focus: Researchers Imitate Molecular Crowding in Cells

Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to simulate these confined natural conditions in artificial vesicles for the first time. As reported in the academic journal Small, the results are offering better insight into the development of nanoreactors and artificial organelles.

Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

International Land Use Symposium ILUS 2017: Call for Abstracts and Registration open

20.03.2017 | Event News

CONNECT 2017: International congress on connective tissue

14.03.2017 | Event News

ICTM Conference: Turbine Construction between Big Data and Additive Manufacturing

07.03.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Argon is not the 'dope' for metallic hydrogen

24.03.2017 | Materials Sciences

Astronomers find unexpected, dust-obscured star formation in distant galaxy

24.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Gravitational wave kicks monster black hole out of galactic core

24.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>