Male Drosophila melanogaster learn to prefer an arbitrary trait associated with female mating status

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Male Drosophila melanogaster learn to prefer an arbitrary trait associated with female mating status. / Verzijden, Machteld Nicolette; Abbott, Jessica K.; Philipsborn, Anne von; Loeschcke, Volker.

In: Current Zoology, Vol. 61, No. 6, 2015, p. 1036-1042.

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@article{e4b1215461a545779807a078f90a18d9,
title = "Male Drosophila melanogaster learn to prefer an arbitrary trait associated with female mating status",
abstract = "Although males are generally less discriminating than females when it comes to choosing a mate, they still benefit from distinguishing between mates that are receptive to courtship and those that are not, in order to avoid wasting time and energy. It is known that males of Drosophila melanogaster are able to learn to associate olfactory and gustatory cues with female receptivity, but the role of more arbitrary, visual cues in mate choice learning has been overlooked to date in this species. We therefore carried out a series of experiments to determine: 1) whether males had a baseline preference for female eye color (red versus brown), 2) if males could learn to associate an eye color cue with female receptivity, and 3) whether this association disappeared when the males were unable to use this visual cue in the dark. We found that na{\"i}ve males had no baseline preference for females of either eye color, but that males which were trained with sexually receptive females of a given eye color showed a preference for that color during a standard binary choice experiment. The learned cue was indeed likely to be truly visual, since the preference disappeared when the binary choice phase of the experiment was carried out in darkness.This is, to our knowledge 1) the first evidence that male D. melanogaster can use more arbitrary cues and 2) the first evidence that males use visual cues during mate choice learning. Our findings suggest that that D. melanogaster has untapped potential as a model system for mate choicelearning",
keywords = "Mate choice, Learning, Male, Drosophila , Visual trait",
author = "Verzijden, {Machteld Nicolette} and Abbott, {Jessica K.} and Philipsborn, {Anne von} and Volker Loeschcke",
year = "2015",
language = "English",
volume = "61",
pages = "1036--1042",
journal = "Current Zoology",
issn = "1674-5507",
publisher = "Oxford University Press",
number = "6",

}

RIS

TY - JOUR

T1 - Male Drosophila melanogaster learn to prefer an arbitrary trait associated with female mating status

AU - Verzijden, Machteld Nicolette

AU - Abbott, Jessica K.

AU - Philipsborn, Anne von

AU - Loeschcke, Volker

PY - 2015

Y1 - 2015

N2 - Although males are generally less discriminating than females when it comes to choosing a mate, they still benefit from distinguishing between mates that are receptive to courtship and those that are not, in order to avoid wasting time and energy. It is known that males of Drosophila melanogaster are able to learn to associate olfactory and gustatory cues with female receptivity, but the role of more arbitrary, visual cues in mate choice learning has been overlooked to date in this species. We therefore carried out a series of experiments to determine: 1) whether males had a baseline preference for female eye color (red versus brown), 2) if males could learn to associate an eye color cue with female receptivity, and 3) whether this association disappeared when the males were unable to use this visual cue in the dark. We found that naïve males had no baseline preference for females of either eye color, but that males which were trained with sexually receptive females of a given eye color showed a preference for that color during a standard binary choice experiment. The learned cue was indeed likely to be truly visual, since the preference disappeared when the binary choice phase of the experiment was carried out in darkness.This is, to our knowledge 1) the first evidence that male D. melanogaster can use more arbitrary cues and 2) the first evidence that males use visual cues during mate choice learning. Our findings suggest that that D. melanogaster has untapped potential as a model system for mate choicelearning

AB - Although males are generally less discriminating than females when it comes to choosing a mate, they still benefit from distinguishing between mates that are receptive to courtship and those that are not, in order to avoid wasting time and energy. It is known that males of Drosophila melanogaster are able to learn to associate olfactory and gustatory cues with female receptivity, but the role of more arbitrary, visual cues in mate choice learning has been overlooked to date in this species. We therefore carried out a series of experiments to determine: 1) whether males had a baseline preference for female eye color (red versus brown), 2) if males could learn to associate an eye color cue with female receptivity, and 3) whether this association disappeared when the males were unable to use this visual cue in the dark. We found that naïve males had no baseline preference for females of either eye color, but that males which were trained with sexually receptive females of a given eye color showed a preference for that color during a standard binary choice experiment. The learned cue was indeed likely to be truly visual, since the preference disappeared when the binary choice phase of the experiment was carried out in darkness.This is, to our knowledge 1) the first evidence that male D. melanogaster can use more arbitrary cues and 2) the first evidence that males use visual cues during mate choice learning. Our findings suggest that that D. melanogaster has untapped potential as a model system for mate choicelearning

KW - Mate choice

KW - Learning

KW - Male

KW - Drosophila

KW - Visual trait

M3 - Journal article

VL - 61

SP - 1036

EP - 1042

JO - Current Zoology

JF - Current Zoology

SN - 1674-5507

IS - 6

ER -