Sexual behaviour

  • Article
    | Open Access

    Wing touching induces a defensive response in D. melanogaster. Here, the authors show that female flies change the defensive response during courtship and after mating. This switch is mediated by functional reconfiguration of a neural circuit in the ventral nerve cord.

    • Chenxi Liu
    • , Bei Zhang
    •  & Wei Zhang
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Olfactory experience can alter the relative abundance of neurons expressing specific chemoreceptors. Here, the authors demonstrate that the distinct odor experiences of sex-separated male and female mice induce sex-specific differences in the abundance of neurons that detect sexually dimorphic odors.

    • Carl van der Linden
    • , Susanne Jakob
    •  & Stephen W. Santoro
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Sex pheromones that increase mating have been reported across a number of different species, yet there is little known about pheromones that suppress female mating drive. This study reports that juvenile female mice release a pheromone, ESP22, which suppresses sexual receptivity of adult female mice by evoking a robust rejection behavior upon male mounting.

    • Takuya Osakada
    • , Kentaro K. Ishii
    •  & Kazushige Touhara
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Auditory processing is an important component of mosquito behaviour including mating. Here the authors demonstrate substantial sex- and also species-specific variation in mosquito auditory transduction, amplification and gain control.

    • Matthew P. Su
    • , Marta Andrés
    •  & Joerg T. Albert
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Mate preference and copulatory behavior in female rodents are coordinated with the ovulation cycles of the animal. This study shows that hypothalamic kisspeptin neurons control both mate choice and copulation, and therefore, that sexual behavior and ovulation may be synchronized by the same neuropeptide.

    • Vincent Hellier
    • , Olivier Brock
    •  & Julie Bakker
  • Article
    | Open Access

    fruitless (fru) is an important sex-determinant gene that controls the expression of neuroanatomical sex differences in Drosophila. Here the authors report that a core-promoter factor, TRF2, suppresses a male-type neurite specification through direct interaction with FruBM isoform at the robo1 target gene promoter.

    • Zahid Sadek Chowdhury
    • , Kosei Sato
    •  & Daisuke Yamamoto
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Sexual dimorphism is likely the result of differential gene expression. Here, the authors examine the role of thedsxgene in beetles and find that this gene acts in a sex- and tissue-specific manner, either by regulating sex-specific targets or by acting in opposite directions in males and females.

    • C. C. Ledón-Rettig
    • , E. E. Zattara
    •  & A. P. Moczek
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Unlike males, female mice are resistant to hypothalamic inflammation and weight gain when fed a high-fat diet. Here, the authors reveal sex-specific regulation of hypothalamic microglial activation through CX3CR1 signalling, providing a potential mechanism for differential susceptibility to diet-induced obesity.

    • Mauricio D. Dorfman
    • , Jordan E. Krull
    •  & Joshua P. Thaler
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Male pheromones cis-vaccenyl acetate (cVA) and (Z)-7-Tricosene (7-T) mediate chemical mate-guarding in female D. melanogaster. Here, Laturney and Billeter show that females actively eject cVA from their reproductive tract post-copulation, and that cVA in concert with 7-T can reduce female attractiveness post-mating.

    • Meghan Laturney
    •  & Jean-Christophe Billeter
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Innate animal behaviours can be negatively regulated by environmental stressors. Jee et al. show that suppression of male C. eleganscopulation behaviour by noxious light can be overcome by activation of SEB-3, a homologue of the stress-associated mammalian corticotropin-releasing factor receptor family.

    • Changhoon Jee
    • , Jimmy F. Goncalves
    •  & L. Rene Garcia
  • Article
    | Open Access

    We currently lack a detailed understanding of the neurobiological basis for the decline of male sexual desire with age. Here the authors demonstrate that restoring impaired dopaminergic signalling in a specific cluster of neurons in the Drosophilabrain increases sexual behaviour in ageing male flies.

    • Shu-Yun Kuo
    • , Chia-Lin Wu
    •  & Tsai-Feng Fu
  • Article |

    In silkmoths, pheromones are used to find food, to evade predators and to locate mating partners. In this study, Namiki et al.use anatomical and electrophysiological approaches to identify four neural circuits that contribute to a neural pathway for pheromone processing in the protocerebrum of silkmoths.

    • Shigehiro Namiki
    • , Satoshi Iwabuchi
    •  & Ryohei Kanzaki
  • Article
    | Open Access

    The conversion of testosterone into oestrogen in the brain is implicated in male aggressive behaviour. Ubuka et al.show that gonadotropin-inhibitory hormone inhibits male aggression by increasing oestrogen synthesis in the brain beyond its optimum concentration for the expression of aggressive behaviour.

    • Takayoshi Ubuka
    • , Shogo Haraguchi
    •  & Kazuyoshi Tsutsui
  • Article
    | Open Access

    The protein spinster is implicated in Drosophilacourtship behaviour. Sakurai and colleagues identify two clusters of spinster-expressing interneurons, and show that these cells are required for female receptivity to male advances.

    • Akira Sakurai
    • , Masayuki Koganezawa
    •  & Daisuke Yamamoto
  • Article |

    Sex pheromones are used by adult members of a species to attract a mate. This study proposes that the larvae of the cotton leafwormSpodoptera littoralisare attracted to sex pheromones and prefer a food source containing it, suggesting an alternative use of the sex pheromone to trigger food search in caterpillars.

    • Erwan Poivet
    • , Kacem Rharrabe
    •  & Emmanuelle Jacquin-Joly
  • Article
    | Open Access

    The vomeronasal organ detects pheromones, which are thought to activate TRPC2 channels on the surface of vomeronasal neurons. Using TRPC2 knockout mice, the authors show that urinary pheromones can also activate these neurons via calcium-activated chloride channels, suggesting a TRPC2-independent pathway for sensing pheromones.

    • SangSeong Kim
    • , Limei Ma
    •  & C. Ron Yu