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Genetics. Nov 1997; 147(3): 1107–1130.
PMCID: PMC1208237

Extended Reproductive Roles of the Fruitless Gene in Drosophila Melanogaster Revealed by Behavioral Analysis of New Fru Mutants


The fruitless mutants fru(3) and fru(4) were assessed for sex-specific reproductive-behavioral phenotypes and compared to the previously reported fru mutants. Among the several behavioral anomalies exhibited by males expressing these relatively new mutations, some are unique. fru(3) and fru(4) males are less stimulated to court females than fru(1) and fru(2). No courtship pulse song is generated by either fru(3) or fru(4) males, even though they perform brief wing extensions. fru(3) and fru(4) males display significantly less chaining behavior than do fru(1) males. The hierarchy of courtship responses by fru males directed toward females vs. males, when presented with both sexes simultaneously, is that fru(1) males perform vigorous and indiscriminant courtship directed at either sex; fru(4) males are similarly indiscriminant, but courtship levels were lower than fru(1); fru(2) males prefer females; fru(3) males show a courtship bias toward males. fru(3) and fru(4) males essentially lack the Muscle of Lawrence (MOL). On several reproductive criteria, there was no difference between fru-variant females and fru(+). The increases in phenotypic severity measured for the new mutants are discussed in the context of the emerging molecular genetics of fru and with regard to the gene's position within the sex-determination pathway.

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