Do circadian genes and ambient temperature affect substrate-borne signalling during Drosophila courtship?
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Medina, I., Casal Jimenez, J., & Fabre, C. (2015). Do circadian genes and ambient temperature affect substrate-borne signalling during Drosophila courtship?. Biology Open, 4 1549-1557. https://doi.org/10.1242/bio.014332
Courtship signals can be air-borne or substrate-borne. They convey distinct and species-specific information from one individual to its prospective partner. Here, we study the substrate-borne vibratory signals generated by the abdominal quivers of the Drosophila male during courtship; these vibrations travel through the ground towards courted females and coincide with female immobility. It is not known which physical parameters of the vibrations encode the information that is received by the females and induces them to pause. Here, we examined the intervals between each vibratory pulse, a feature that was reported to have informative value for the communication of many animals. We were unable to find any evidence of periodic variations in the durations of these intervals similar to those reported in the fly acoustical signals. Because it was suggested that the genes involved in the circadian “clock” may also regulate shorter rhythms, we search for effects of period (per) on the interval lengths. per mutant males produced vibrations with significantly altered interpulse intervals, which were mirrored by experiments using constant light treatments that are also known to disable the circadian clock. Our results suggest that the clock and its light regulator have input into the interpulse intervals of the vibrations generated in the substrate. We wondered if we could alter the interpulse intervals by other means, and found that ambient temperature also had a strong effect on their durations. However, behavioural analysis suggests that only extreme ambient temperatures can block the close temporal correlation between female immobility and substrate-borne vibrations.
This work was kindly supported by a Wellcome Trust Investigator Award (WT096645MA) to P. A. Lawrence.
WELLCOME TRUST (107060/Z/15/Z)
Wellcome Trust (096645/Z/11/Z)
External DOI: https://doi.org/10.1242/bio.014332
This record's URL: https://www.repository.cam.ac.uk/handle/1810/251197
Creative Commons Attribution 4.0
Licence URL: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/