Two distinct genomic regions, harbouring the period and fruitless genes, affect male courtship song in Drosophila montana

Heredity (Edinb). 2012 Jun;108(6):602-8. doi: 10.1038/hdy.2011.129. Epub 2012 Jan 11.


Acoustic signals often have a significant role in pair formation and in species recognition. Determining the genetic basis of signal divergence will help to understand signal evolution by sexual selection and its role in the speciation process. An earlier study investigated quantitative trait locus for male courtship song carrier frequency (FRE) in Drosophila montana using microsatellite markers. We refined this study by adding to the linkage map markers for 10 candidate genes known to affect song production in Drosophila melanogaster. We also extended the analyses to additional song characters (pulse train length (PTL), pulse number (PN), interpulse interval, pulse length (PL) and cycle number (CN)). Our results indicate that loci in two different regions of the genome control distinct features of the courtship song. Pulse train traits (PTL and PN) mapped to the X chromosome, showing significant linkage with the period gene. In contrast, characters related to song pulse properties (PL, CN and carrier FRE) mapped to the region of chromosome 2 near the candidate gene fruitless, identifying these genes as suitable loci for further investigations. In previous studies, the pulse train traits have been found to vary substantially between Drosophila species, and so are potential species recognition signals, while the pulse traits may be more important in intra-specific mate choice.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Chromosome Mapping
  • Courtship
  • Drosophila / genetics*
  • Drosophila / physiology*
  • Genes, Insect*
  • Genetic Variation
  • Genome, Insect*
  • Male
  • Microsatellite Repeats
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Quantitative Trait Loci
  • Sexual Behavior, Animal*
  • Species Specificity
  • Vocalization, Animal / physiology*
  • X Chromosome / genetics

Associated data

  • GENBANK/HQ889727
  • GENBANK/HQ889728
  • GENBANK/HQ889729
  • GENBANK/HQ889730
  • GENBANK/HQ889731
  • GENBANK/HQ889732
  • GENBANK/HQ889733
  • GENBANK/HQ889734
  • GENBANK/HQ889735
  • GENBANK/HQ889736
  • GENBANK/HQ889737
  • GENBANK/HQ889738
  • GENBANK/HQ889739
  • GENBANK/HQ889740
  • GENBANK/HQ889741
  • GENBANK/HQ889742
  • GENBANK/HQ889743
  • GENBANK/HQ889744
  • GENBANK/HQ889745
  • GENBANK/HQ889746