Reproductive behaviour in Drosophila
|The puzzling variety of reproductive behaviour in insects is fascinating. But biologists are interested in the reproductive strategies of insects not just out of curiosity. Practical, medical and economic reasons are also a major driving force behind these studies.
|In many insects, mating alters the reproductive properties of the female, affecting her physiology and behaviour. Virgin females lay only a few eggs and mate readily. After mating, however, many eggs are laid, and courting males are rejected. The first male stimulates egg-laying and puts a "chastity belt" on the female which prohibits further mating. In Drosophila , products of the male reproductive system transferred to the female during copulation are a primary cause of these effects. These substances, Sex-peptides, are synthesized mainly in the male reproductive tract. Our group is interested in the elucidation of the function of Sex-peptides in the female at a molecular, genetic, physiological and neurobiological level.|