Latest Fruitless Stories
The brains of males and females, and how they use them, may be far more different than previously thought, at least in the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster.
New research has shown that the manipulation of a single gene in female fruit flies can make their sexual behavior resemble that of males, in a study that demonstrates the power of individual genes and the profound impact of genetics on complex sexual behavior.
Turning on a single male-specific gene produces a female fruit fly that displays male courtship behaviors: chasing other females, tapping their abdomens and performing wing-beating love serenades. The results, published in the June 15 online edition of the journal Nature, show that a single gene can determine how females and males detect and respond differently to sexual cues.
A male fly's sexual courtship of a female fly is a complicated business of tapping, singing, wing vibration, and licking, but a single gene is all that is needed to produce this complex behavior, according to new research published in this week's issue of the journal Cell.
- A young chicken: also used as a pet name for children.