Phenotypic association of spontaneous ovulation and sexual receptivity in virgin females of Drosophila melanogaster mutants

Behav Genet. 2001 Sep;31(5):437-44. doi: 10.1023/a:1012794421980.


In Drosophila melanogaster females, mating stimulates ovulation/oviposition and switches off receptivity. To investigate the relationship between ovulation and receptivity, we searched for genetic variants in which ovulation occurs in virgins and characterized their behavioral phenotype. Among a collection of 333 P-element insertion lines, we identified eight lines that showed elevated ovulation in virgins. These females show ovipositor extrusion toward courting males, which is normally observed in mated females. To express the amount of rejection behavior, we defined the extrusion index (EI) as a percentage of time that each female extruded the ovipositor within the total time of being courted. There was a positive correlation between ovulation level and EI, suggesting that the two traits are physiologically associated. Genetic analysis of the variants revealed two regions on the third chromosome responsible for the phenotype.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Chromosome Mapping
  • Drosophila Proteins*
  • Drosophila melanogaster / genetics*
  • Female
  • Genetic Variation
  • Intercellular Signaling Peptides and Proteins
  • Mutation / genetics*
  • Ovulation / genetics*
  • Peptides / genetics
  • Phenotype*
  • Sexual Behavior, Animal / physiology*


  • Acp36DE protein, Drosophila
  • Drosophila Proteins
  • Intercellular Signaling Peptides and Proteins
  • Peptides
  • SP protein, Drosophila
  • male accessory gland peptide, Drosophila