A role for the adult fat body in Drosophila male courtship behavior. Academic Article uri icon


  • Mating behavior in Drosophila depends critically on the sexual identity of specific regions in the brain, but several studies have identified courtship genes that express products only outside the nervous system. Although these genes are each active in a variety of non-neuronal cell types, they are all prominently expressed in the adult fat body, suggesting an important role for this tissue in behavior. To test its role in male courtship, fat body was feminized using the highly specific Larval serum protein promoter. We report here that the specific feminization of this tissue strongly reduces the competence of males to perform courtship. This effect is limited to the fat body of sexually mature adults as the feminization of larval fat body that normally persists in young adults does not affect mating. We propose that feminization of fat body affects the synthesis of male-specific secreted circulating proteins that influence the central nervous system. In support of this idea, we demonstrate that Takeout, a protein known to influence mating, is present in the hemolymph of adult males but not females and acts as a secreted protein.

published proceedings

  • PLoS Genet

altmetric score

  • 0.5

author list (cited authors)

  • Lazareva, A. A., Roman, G., Mattox, W., Hardin, P. E., & Dauwalder, B.

citation count

  • 115

complete list of authors

  • Lazareva, Anna A||Roman, Gregg||Mattox, William||Hardin, Paul E||Dauwalder, Brigitte

editor list (cited editors)

  • Stern, D. L.

publication date

  • January 2007