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Cell. 2005 Jun 3;121(5):795-807.

Neural circuitry that governs Drosophila male courtship behavior.

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Institute of Molecular Biotechnology of the Austrian Academy of Sciences, A-1030 Vienna, Austria.


Male-specific fruitless (fru) products (Fru(M)) are both necessary and sufficient to "hardwire" the potential for male courtship behavior into the Drosophila nervous system. Fru(M) is expressed in approximately 2% of neurons in the male nervous system, but not in the female. We have targeted the insertion of GAL4 into the fru locus, allowing us to visualize and manipulate the Fru(M)-expressing neurons in the male as well as their counterparts in the female. We present evidence that these neurons are directly and specifically involved in male courtship behavior and that at least some of them are interconnected in a circuit. This circuit includes olfactory neurons required for the behavioral response to sex pheromones. Anatomical differences in this circuit that might account for the dramatic differences in male and female sexual behavior are not apparent.

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