The roles of fruitless and doublesex in the control of male courtship

Int Rev Neurobiol. 2011;99:87-105. doi: 10.1016/B978-0-12-387003-2.00004-5.


Male courtship in Drosophila melanogaster is a robust innate behavior that is shaped by sensory input and experience. It is regulated by the general sex-determination pathway through the sex-specific forms of fruitless and doublesex. Recent findings have shown that both fruitless and doublesex are required for courtship. This chapter reviews the role of these proteins and the neurons that express them in the regulation of courtship behavior. In particular it discusses how doublesex and fruitless contribute to the generation of sexually dimorphic neurons, the role of cell death, and the emerging information about circuits that underlie the behavior.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Death / genetics
  • Cell Death / physiology
  • Courtship / psychology*
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / genetics
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / physiology*
  • Drosophila Proteins / genetics
  • Drosophila Proteins / physiology*
  • Drosophila melanogaster / genetics*
  • Drosophila melanogaster / physiology*
  • Fat Body / physiology
  • Female
  • Male
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins / genetics
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins / physiology*
  • Neurons / physiology
  • Sex Characteristics
  • Sexual Behavior, Animal / physiology*
  • Transcription Factors / genetics
  • Transcription Factors / physiology*


  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • DSX protein, Drosophila
  • Drosophila Proteins
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins
  • Transcription Factors
  • fru protein, Drosophila