Systems Behavior: Of Male Courtship, the Nervous System and Beyond in Drosophila
Male courtship in fruit flies is regulated by the same major regulatory genes that also determine general sexual differentiation of the animal. Elaborate genetics has given us insight into the roles of these master genes. These findings have suggested two separate and independent pathways for the regulation of sexual behavior and other aspects of sexual differentiation. Only recently have molecular studies started to look at the downstream effector genes and how they might control sex-specific behavior. These studies have confirmed the essential role of the previously identified male specific products of the fruitless gene in the neuronal circuits in which it is expressed. But there is increasing evidence that a number of non-neuronal tissues and pathways play a pivotal role in modulating this circuit and assuring efficient courtship.
Keywords: Courtship, fruitless, doublesex, fat body, takeout, sex determination, Drosophila
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