The fruitless (fru) gene in Drosophila plays a pivotal role in the formation of neural circuits underlying gender-specific behaviors. Specific labeling of fru expressing neurons has revealed a core circuit responsible for male courtship behavior.Females with a small number of masculinized neuronal clusters in their brain can initiate male-type courtship behavior. By examining the correlations between the masculinized neurons and behavioral gender type, a male-specific neuronal cluster,named P1, which coexpresses fru and double sex, was identified as a putative trigger center for male-type courtship behavior. P1 neurons extend dendrite to the lateral horn,where multimodal sensory inputs converge. Molecular studies suggest that fru determines the level of masculinization of neurons by orchestrating the transcription of a set of downstream genes, which remain to be identified.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience