Genetic analysis of chaste, a new mutation of Drosophila melanogaster characterized by extremely low female sexual receptivity

Naoto Juni, Daisuke Yamamoto

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Citations (Scopus)


By screening about 2,000 P-element-insertion lines of Drosophila melanogaster, we isolated a new behavioral mutant line, chaste (chst), the females of which display extraordinarily strong rejection behavior against courting males. The chst mutation is mapped to the muscleblind (mbl) locus at 54B on the right arm of chromosome 2. The reduced sexual receptivity in chst mutant females is reversed to the wild-type level by introducing a transgene, which expresses either the mblB + or mblC + isoform, demonstrating that chst is an allele of mbl. Among the P-elements inserted upstream of the mbl gene, those inserted in the same orientation as that of mbl express the chst phenotype, whereas a P-element inserted in the opposite orientation does not. This finding implies that the former P-elements induce the mutant phenotype by a mechanism that is sensitive to the direction of transcription (e.g., transcriptional interference). The mbl alleles, with deletions near the transcription start site and/or in part of the exons, complement the chst mutation in the sexual receptivity phenotype, but not in the lethality phenotype of mbl mutations. Such interallelic complementation of the sexual receptivity phenotype in the mbl locus disappears in the presence of a mutant copy of zeste (z), a gene encoding a protein that mediates transvection. We suggest that the mbl gene function is required for the normal development of neural substrates that regulate female sexual receptivity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)329-340
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of neurogenetics
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2009 Jan
Externally publishedYes


  • Behavioral gene
  • Mating success
  • Transvection
  • muscleblind gene

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


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