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Reference
Citation
Massey, J.H., Chung, D., Siwanowicz, I., Stern, D.L., Wittkopp, P.J. (2019). The yellow gene influences Drosophila male mating success through sex comb melanization.  eLife 8(): e49388.
FlyBase ID
FBrf0243754
Publication Type
Research paper
Abstract

Drosophila melanogaster males perform a series of courtship behaviors that, when successful, result in copulation with a female. For over a century, mutations in the yellow gene, named for its effects on pigmentation, have been known to reduce male mating success. Prior work has suggested that yellow influences mating behavior through effects on wing extension, song, and/or courtship vigor. Here, we rule out these explanations, as well as effects on the nervous system more generally, and find instead that the effects of yellow on male mating success are mediated by its effects on pigmentation of male-specific leg structures called sex combs. Loss of yellow expression in these modified bristles reduces their melanization, which changes their structure and causes difficulty grasping females prior to copulation. These data illustrate why the mechanical properties of anatomy, not just neural circuitry, must be considered to fully understand the development and evolution of behavior.

PubMed ID
PubMed Central ID
PMC6794089 (PMC) (EuropePMC)
Related Publication(s)
Note

When structure meets function.
Signor, 2019, eLife 8: e51746 [FBrf0243824]

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Secondary IDs
    Language of Publication
    English
    Additional Languages of Abstract
    Parent Publication
    Publication Type
    Journal
    Abbreviation
    eLife
    Title
    eLife
    ISBN/ISSN
    2050-084X
    Data From Reference
    Alleles (49)
    Genes (10)
    Natural transposons (2)
    Insertions (13)
    Experimental Tools (4)
    Transgenic Constructs (31)