Female receptivity phenotype of icebox mutants caused by a mutation in the L1-type cell adhesion molecule neuroglian.
Carhan A., Allen F., Armstrong JD., Hortsch M., Goodwin SF., O'Dell KM.
Relatively little is known about the genes and brain structures that enable virgin female Drosophila to make the decision to mate or not. Classical genetic approaches have identified several mutant females that have a reluctance-to-mate phenotype, but most of these have additional behavioral defects. However, the icebox (ibx) mutation was previously reported to lower the sexual receptivity of females, without apparently affecting any other aspect of female behavior. We have shown that the ibx mutation maps to the 7F region of the Drosophila X chromosome to form a complex complementation group with both lethal and viable alleles of neuroglian (nrg). The L1-type cell adhesion molecule encoded by nrg consists of six immunoglobulin-like domains, five fibronectin-like domains, one transmembrane domain and one alternatively spliced intracellular domain. The ibx strain has a missense mutation causing a glycine-to-arginine change at amino acid 92 in the first immunoglobulin domain of nrg. Defects in the central brain of ibx mutants are similar to those observed in another nrg mutant, central brain deranged(1) (ceb(1)). However, both ceb(1) homozygous and ceb(1)/ibx heterozygous females are receptive. The expression of a transgene containing the non-neural isoform of nrg rescues both the receptivity and the brain structure phenotypes of ibx females.