Presentation Type

Poster

Abstract

In order to survive, an organism needs to be able to interpret their surroundings and rapidly make decisions that lead to an appropriate behavioral response. Identifying and examining the roles of specific groups of neurons that receive environmental information, will enable us to better understand how these decisions are made and what behaviors can occur. Previous results from our lab and others indicate that the neuromodulator octopamine (OA) is required in Drosophila central brain neurons to promote male aggression. After OA is released into the extracellular space, it binds to its postsynaptic receptors to elicit a physiological response. In this study, we are examining the role of a subset of neurons that express the OAβ1R receptor on male behavior.

Our initial results demonstrate that removing OAβ1R-expressing neurons decreases male aggression as measured by quantifying how long it takes to start fighting and the number of lunges, a key aggressive behavioral pattern. Wing threats, another form of aggressive behavior, also decreased in both ablated neurons and neurons lacking the OAβ1R receptor. To determine if the OAβ1R receptor mediates changes in male courtship behavior toward a female, I have been performing courtship assays between one wildtype or normal female and two males lacking the OAβ1R receptor. Our preliminary results indicate males lacking the OAβ1R receptor show a significant delay in comparison to controls before they begin courtship behavior, but no defect in their ability to copulate. This delay in initiating courtship could result from a lack of regulation of OAβ1R-expressing neurons by the OAβ1R receptor. Taken together, our results suggest OA signaling through the OAβ1R receptor is required to interpret environmental information to promote or inhibit the aggression and courtship response.

Category

Life Sciences

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Apr 15th, 11:00 AM Apr 15th, 12:00 PM

The Oaβ1R receptor mediates octopamine signaling at the periphery to promote male aggression

In order to survive, an organism needs to be able to interpret their surroundings and rapidly make decisions that lead to an appropriate behavioral response. Identifying and examining the roles of specific groups of neurons that receive environmental information, will enable us to better understand how these decisions are made and what behaviors can occur. Previous results from our lab and others indicate that the neuromodulator octopamine (OA) is required in Drosophila central brain neurons to promote male aggression. After OA is released into the extracellular space, it binds to its postsynaptic receptors to elicit a physiological response. In this study, we are examining the role of a subset of neurons that express the OAβ1R receptor on male behavior.

Our initial results demonstrate that removing OAβ1R-expressing neurons decreases male aggression as measured by quantifying how long it takes to start fighting and the number of lunges, a key aggressive behavioral pattern. Wing threats, another form of aggressive behavior, also decreased in both ablated neurons and neurons lacking the OAβ1R receptor. To determine if the OAβ1R receptor mediates changes in male courtship behavior toward a female, I have been performing courtship assays between one wildtype or normal female and two males lacking the OAβ1R receptor. Our preliminary results indicate males lacking the OAβ1R receptor show a significant delay in comparison to controls before they begin courtship behavior, but no defect in their ability to copulate. This delay in initiating courtship could result from a lack of regulation of OAβ1R-expressing neurons by the OAβ1R receptor. Taken together, our results suggest OA signaling through the OAβ1R receptor is required to interpret environmental information to promote or inhibit the aggression and courtship response.