Abstract

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 availability

Data is included in the paper and the supplemental files. Source data have been provided for Figures 1,2, 4 and 9.

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Article and author information

Author details

  1. Catherine E Schretter

    Janelia Research Campus, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Ashburn, United States
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
    ORCID icon "This ORCID iD identifies the author of this article:" 0000-0002-3957-6838
  2. Yoshi Aso

    Janelia Research Campus, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Ashburn, United States
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
    ORCID icon "This ORCID iD identifies the author of this article:" 0000-0002-2939-1688
  3. Alice A Robie

    Janelia Research Campus, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Ashburn, United States
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
  4. Marisa Dreher

    Janelia Research Campus, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Ashburn, United States
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
    ORCID icon "This ORCID iD identifies the author of this article:" 0000-0002-0041-9229
  5. Michael-John Dolan

    Janelia Research Campus, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Ashburn, United States
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
    ORCID icon "This ORCID iD identifies the author of this article:" 0000-0001-9666-3682
  6. Nan Chen

    Janelia Research Campus, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Ashburn, United States
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
  7. Masayoshi Ito

    Janelia Research Campus, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Ashburn, United States
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
  8. Tansy Yang

    Janelia Research Campus, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Ashburn, United States
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
    ORCID icon "This ORCID iD identifies the author of this article:" 0000-0003-1131-0410
  9. Ruchi Parekh

    Janelia Research Campus, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Ashburn, United States
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
    ORCID icon "This ORCID iD identifies the author of this article:" 0000-0002-8060-2807
  10. Kristin M Branson

    Janelia Research Campus, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Ashburn, United States
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
  11. Gerald M Rubin

    Janelia Research Campus, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Ashburn, United States
    For correspondence
    rubing@janelia.hhmi.org
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
    ORCID icon "This ORCID iD identifies the author of this article:" 0000-0001-8762-8703

Funding

Howard Hughes Medial Institute

  • 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.

Reviewing Editor

  1. Mani Ramaswami, Trinity College Dublin, Ireland

Version history

  1. Received: May 14, 2020
  2. Accepted: November 2, 2020
  3. Accepted Manuscript published: November 3, 2020 (version 1)
  4. Version of Record published: January 6, 2021 (version 2)

Copyright

© 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.

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  1. Catherine E Schretter
  2. Yoshi Aso
  3. Alice A Robie
  4. Marisa Dreher
  5. Michael-John Dolan
  6. Nan Chen
  7. Masayoshi Ito
  8. Tansy Yang
  9. Ruchi Parekh
  10. Kristin M Branson
  11. Gerald M Rubin
(2020)
Cell types and neuronal circuitry underlying female aggression in Drosophila
eLife 9:e58942.
https://doi.org/10.7554/eLife.58942

Share this article

https://doi.org/10.7554/eLife.58942

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