Mapping of genetic loci that change pheromone discrimination in Drosophila males

Genet Res. 2002 Apr;79(2):149-59. doi: 10.1017/s0016672301005535.


Reproduction in individual animals of sexual species depends largely upon their ability to detect and distinguish specific signal(s) among those produced by various potential sexual partners. In Drosophila melanogaster males, there is a natural polymorphism for discrimination of female and male principal pheromones that segregates with chromosome 3. We have mapped two loci on chromosome 3 that change sex-pheromone discrimination in males. We successively exploited meiotic recombination, deficiencies and enhancer-trap strains; excision of the transposon in two selected enhancer-trap strains clearly reverted the discrimination phenotype. These results indicate that pheromonal discrimination is a character that can be genetically manipulated, and provide further insights into the evolution of the specific mate recognition system.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Chromosome Mapping
  • Chromosome Segregation
  • Chromosomes / genetics
  • DNA Transposable Elements / genetics
  • Drosophila melanogaster / genetics*
  • Female
  • Male
  • Phenotype
  • Pheromones / genetics*
  • Recombination, Genetic
  • Sexual Behavior, Animal / physiology*
  • Smell


  • DNA Transposable Elements
  • Pheromones
  • insect attractants