Anne Von Philipsborn
Date: January 23, 2020. 12:00
Location: CCU Seminar Room
Affiliation: Dandrite, Aarhus University
Title: Female copulation song is modulated by seminal fluid
In most animal species, males and females communicate during sexual behavior to negotiate reproductive investments. Pre-copulatory courtship may settle if copulation takes place, but often information exchange and decision-making continue beyond that point. We discovered that females of several Drosophila species sing by wing vibration in copula. This copulation song is distinct from the well-studied male courtship song and requires neurons expressing the female sex determination factor DoublesexF. Copulation song depends on transfer of seminal fluid components, namely secondary cell products of the male accessory gland. Hearing female copulation song increases the reproductive success of a male when he is challenged by competition, suggesting that auditory cues from the female modulate male ejaculate allocation and, in turn, female remating latency. Our findings reveal an unexpected fine-tuning of reproductive decisions during a multimodal copulatory dialogue. The discovery of a female-specific acoustic behavior sheds new light on Drosophila courtship and mating, sexual dimorphisms of neuronal circuits and the impact of seminal fluid molecules on nervous system and behavior.