Functional coupling of acoustic and chemical signals in the courtship behaviour of the male Drosophila melanogaster

Abstract : During courtship, the male Drosophila melanogaster sends signals to the female through two major sensory channels: chemical and acoustic. These signals are involved in the stimulation of the female to accept copulation. In order to determine the respective importance in the courtship of these signals, their production was controlled using genetical and surgical techniques. Males deprived of the ability to emit both signals are unable to mate, demonstrating that other (e.g. visual or tactile) signals are not sufficient to stimulate the female. If either acoustic or chemical signals are lacking, the courtship success is strongly reduced, the lack of the former having significantly more drastic effects. However, the accelerated matings of males observed with males bearing wild-type hydrocarbons compared with defective ones, whichever the modality of acoustic performance (wing vibration or playback), strongly support the role of cuticular compounds to stimulate females. We can conclude that among the possible factors involved in communication during courtship, acoustic and chemical signals may act in a synergistic way and not separately in D. melanogaster.
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Submitted on : Thursday, August 8, 2019 - 10:18:20 AM
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Fanny Rybak, Gilles Sureau, Thierry Aubin. Functional coupling of acoustic and chemical signals in the courtship behaviour of the male Drosophila melanogaster. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, Royal Society, The, 2002, 269 (1492), pp.695-701. ⟨10.1098/rspb.2001.1919⟩. ⟨hal-02265013⟩

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