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Genetics. 1997 Nov;147(3):1107-30.

Extended reproductive roles of the fruitless gene in Drosophila melanogaster revealed by behavioral analysis of new fru mutants.

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Department of Biology, Brandeis University, Waltham, Massachusetts 02254, USA.


The fruitless mutants fru3 and fru4 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. fru3 and fru4 males are less stimulated to court females than fru1 and fru2. No courtship pulse song is generated by either fru3 or fru4 males, even though they perform brief wing extensions. fru3 and fru4 males display significantly less chaining behavior than do fru1 males. The hierarchy of courtship responses by fru males directed toward females vs. males, when presented with both sexes simultaneously, is that fru1 males perform vigorous and indiscriminant courtship directed at either sex; fru4 males are similarly indiscriminant, but courtship levels were lower than fru1; fru2 males prefer females; fru3 males show a courtship bias toward males. fru3 and fru4 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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