Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

Dr Stephen Goodwin and colleagues at the University of Oxford are step closer to understanding why female Drosophila melangoster fruit flies change their behaviour after mating.

While virgin female Drosophila are highly sexually receptive and rapidly copulate with appropriate males, after copulation these females shift their priorities, becoming less receptive to further mating and focussing instead on feeding and producing eggs.

The team’s research in Current Biology shows that this change in behaviour is due to concentration of the neuromodulator octopamine. When the octopamine level in unmated virgin females was artificially increased by researchers, the files exhibited behaviour usually only seen in successfully mated females.

The team also pinpointed the specific neurons affected by octopamine, which are located in the abdominal ganglion, a part of the fly’s nervous system that is equivalent to the mammalian spinal cord.

Story seen on the Wellcome Trust Blog.

Similar stories

Professor Dame Sue Black to deliver 2022 Christmas Lectures

In the 2022 Christmas Lectures from the Royal Institution, DPAG's Visiting Professor of Forensic Anatomy Dame Sue Black will share secrets of forensic science.

Researchers describe how cancer cells can defend themselves from the consequences of certain genetic defects

Swietach Group scientists have identified a rescue mechanism that allows cancers to overcome the consequences of inactivating mutations in critically important genes.

Randy Bruno and Scott Waddell receive Wellcome Discovery Awards

Congratulations are in order for Professors Randy Bruno and Scott Waddell who have each been awarded a prestigious Wellcome Trust Discovery Award to significantly enhance our understanding of higher cognitive functions.

Researchers discover novel form of adaptation in the auditory system

DPAG’s auditory neuroscience researchers have found that the auditory system adapts to the changing acoustics of reverberant environments by temporally shifting the inhibitory tuning of cortical neurons to remove reverberation.

Collaborative team driven by DPAG and Chemistry awarded RSC Horizon Prize

The Molecular Flow Sensor Team, with collaborating members principally from DPAG’s Robbins and Talbot groups and the Department of Chemistry, has been named the winner of the Royal Society of Chemistry’s (RSC) Analytical Division Horizon Prize for the development of a new technology for measuring lung function.