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Sex-specific responses to sexual familiarity, and the role of olfaction in Drosophila
Edward Grey Institute, Department of Zoology, University of Oxford, UK.
Linköping University, Department of Physics, Chemistry and Biology, Biology. Linköping University, The Institute of Technology. Oxford University, Oxford, UK.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-4352-6275
Edward Grey Institute, Department of Zoology, University of Oxford, UK.
Department of Physiology Anatomy and Genetics, University of Oxford, UK.
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2013 (English)In: Proceedings of the Royal Society of London. Biological Sciences, ISSN 0962-8452, E-ISSN 1471-2954, Vol. 280, no 1771, 20131691- p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Studies of mating preferences have largely neglected the potential effects ofindividuals encountering their previous mates (‘directly sexually familiar’),or new mates that share similarities to previous mates, e.g. from the samefamily and/or environment (‘phenotypically sexually familiar’). Here, weshow that male and female Drosophila melanogaster respond to the direct andphenotypic sexual familiarity of potential mates in fundamentally differentways. We exposed a single focal male or female to two potential partners. Inthe first experiment, one potential partner was novel (not previously encountered)and one was directly familiar (their previous mate); in the secondexperiment, one potential partner was novel (unrelated, and from a differentenvironment from the previous mate) and one was phenotypically familiar(from the same family and rearing environment as the previous mate). Wefound that males preferentially courted novel females over directly or phenotypicallyfamiliar females. By contrast, females displayed aweak preference fordirectly and phenotypically familiar males over novel males. Sex-specificresponses to the familiarity of potential mates were significantly weaker orabsent in Orco1 mutants, which lack a co-receptor essential for olfaction, indicatinga role for olfactory cues in mate choice over novelty. Collectively, ourresults show that direct and phenotypic sexual familiarity is detected througholfactory cues and play an important role in sex-specific sexual behaviour.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Royal Society Publishing , 2013. Vol. 280, no 1771, 20131691- p.
Keyword [en]
Coolidge effect, individual recognition, genetic relatedness, Orco, Drosophila melanogaster
National Category
Natural Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-98193DOI: 10.1098/rspb.2013.1691ISI: 000330324900006OAI: diva2:652591
Available from: 2013-10-01 Created: 2013-10-01 Last updated: 2014-11-28

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