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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2017 Feb 21;114(8):1958-1963. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1605946114. Epub 2017 Jan 23.

Hearing regulates Drosophila aggression.

Author information

1
Laboratory of Behavioral and Developmental Genetics, Department of Human Genetics, KU Leuven, 3000 Leuven, Belgium.
2
VIB Center for the Biology of Disease, 3000 Leuven, Belgium.
3
Department of Cellular Neurobiology, University of Göttingen, 37077 Goettingen, Germany.
4
Laboratory of Behavioral and Developmental Genetics, Department of Human Genetics, KU Leuven, 3000 Leuven, Belgium; patrick.callaerts@kuleuven.be.

Abstract

Aggression is a universal social behavior important for the acquisition of food, mates, territory, and social status. Aggression in Drosophila is context-dependent and can thus be expected to involve inputs from multiple sensory modalities. Here, we use mechanical disruption and genetic approaches in Drosophila melanogaster to identify hearing as an important sensory modality in the context of intermale aggressive behavior. We demonstrate that neuronal silencing and targeted knockdown of hearing genes in the fly's auditory organ elicit abnormal aggression. Further, we show that exposure to courtship or aggression song has opposite effects on aggression. Our data define the importance of hearing in the control of Drosophila intermale aggression and open perspectives to decipher how hearing and other sensory modalities are integrated at the neural circuit level.

KEYWORDS:

Drosophila; aggression; behavior; hearing; sensory modalities

PMID:
28115690
PMCID:
PMC5338383
DOI:
10.1073/pnas.1605946114
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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