Aggressive social interactions are used to compete for limited resources and are regulated by complex sensory cues and the organism's internal state. While both sexes exhibit aggression, its neuronal underpinnings are understudied in females. Here, we identify a population of sexually dimorphic aIPg neurons in the adult Drosophila melanogaster central brain whose optogenetic activation increased, and genetic inactivation reduced, female aggression. Analysis of GAL4 lines identified in an unbiased screen for increased female chasing behavior revealed the involvement of another sexually dimorphic neuron, pC1d, and implicated aIPg and pC1d neurons as core nodes regulating female aggression. Connectomic analysis demonstrated that aIPg neurons and pC1d are interconnected and suggest that aIPg neurons may exert part of their effect by gating the flow of visual information to descending neurons. Our work reveals important regulatory components of the neuronal circuitry that underlies female aggressive social interactions and provides tools for their manipulation.
Data is included in the paper and the supplemental files. Source data have been provided for Figures 1,2, 4 and 9.
Cell types and neuronal circuitry underlying female aggression in DrosophilaNCBI Gene Expression Omnibus, GSE158748.
- Catherine E Schretter
- Yoshi Aso
- Alice A Robie
- Marisa Dreher
- Michael-John Dolan
- Nan Chen
- Masayoshi Ito
- Tansy Yang
- Ruchi Parekh
- Kristin M Branson
The funders had no role in study design, data collection and interpretation, or the decision to submit the work for publication.
- Mani Ramaswami, Trinity College Dublin, Ireland
© 2020, Schretter et al.
This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License permitting unrestricted use and redistribution provided that the original author and source are credited.