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fruitless tunes functional flexibility of courtship circuitry during development

  1. Jie Chen
  2. Sihui Jin
  3. Dandan Chen
  4. Jie Cao
  5. Xiaoxiao Ji
  6. Qionglin Peng  Is a corresponding author
  7. Yufeng Pan  Is a corresponding author
  1. Southeast University, China
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Cite this article as: eLife 2021;10:e59224 doi: 10.7554/eLife.59224

Abstract

Drosophila male courtship is controlled by the male-specific products of the fruitless (fruM) gene and its expressing neuronal circuitry. fruM is considered a master gene that controls all aspects of male courtship. By temporally and spatially manipulating fruM expression, we found that fruM is required during a critical developmental period for innate courtship towards females, while its function during adulthood is involved in inhibiting male-male courtship. By altering or eliminating fruM expression, we generated males that are innately heterosexual, homosexual, bisexual, or without innate courtship but could acquire such behavior in an experience-dependent manner. These findings show that fruM is not absolutely necessary for courtship but is critical during development to build a sex circuitry with reduced flexibility and enhanced efficiency, and provide a new view about how fruM tunes functional flexibility of a sex circuitry instead of switching on its function as conventionally viewed.

Data availability

All data generated or analysed during this study are included in the manuscript and supporting files. Source data files have been provided for Figures 1, 2, 3, Figure 3-figure supplement 1, 2 and 4.

Article and author information

Author details

  1. Jie Chen

    School of Life Science and Technology, Southeast University, Nanjing, China
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
  2. Sihui Jin

    School of Life Science and Technology, Southeast University, Nanjing, China
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
  3. Dandan Chen

    School of Life Science and Technology, Southeast University, Nanjing, China
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
  4. Jie Cao

    School of Life Science and Technology, Southeast University, Nanjing, China
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
  5. Xiaoxiao Ji

    School of Life Science and Technology, Southeast University, Nanjing, China
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
  6. Qionglin Peng

    School of Life Science and Technology, Southeast University, Nanjing, China
    For correspondence
    pengqionglin@seu.edu.cn
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
  7. Yufeng Pan

    School of Life Science and Technology, Southeast University, Nanjing, China
    For correspondence
    pany@seu.edu.cn
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
    ORCID icon "This ORCID iD identifies the author of this article:" 0000-0002-1535-9716

Funding

National Natural Science Foundation of China (31970943,31622028)

  • Yufeng Pan

National Natural Science Foundation of China (31700905)

  • Qionglin Peng

The funders had no role in study design, data collection and interpretation, or the decision to submit the work for publication.

Reviewing Editor

  1. Kristin Scott, University of California, Berkeley, United States

Publication history

  1. Received: May 22, 2020
  2. Accepted: January 18, 2021
  3. Accepted Manuscript published: January 19, 2021 (version 1)
  4. Version of Record published: February 4, 2021 (version 2)

Copyright

© 2021, Chen 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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