Genetic dissection of sexual behavior in Drosophila melanogaster

Annu Rev Entomol. 1997;42:551-85. doi: 10.1146/annurev.ento.42.1.551.


Mating of Drosophila melanogaster is a sterotypically patterned behavior consisting of a fixed sequence of actions that are primarily under genetic control. Mutations that disrupt specific aspects of mating activities offer a starting point for exploring the molecular machineries underlying sexual behavior. Several genes, identified as causing aberrant sexual behavior when mutated, have been isolated and cloned, providing molecular probes for expression and mosaic analyses that can be used in specifying the cells responsible for the behavior. This review presents current understandings of mating behavior obtained by such molecular and cellular approaches and provides an overview of future directions of research in behavioral genetics.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animal Nutritional Physiological Phenomena
  • Animals
  • Drosophila melanogaster / genetics*
  • Sexual Behavior, Animal*