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Dopamine and Serotonin Are Both Required for Mate-Copying in Drosophila melanogaster.

Frontiers in behavioral neuroscience (2019-01-29)
Magdalena Monier, Sabine Nöbel, Etienne Danchin, Guillaume Isabel
ABSTRACT

Mate-copying is a form of social learning in which the mate-choice decision of an individual (often a female) is influenced by the mate-choice of conspecifics. Drosophila melanogaster females are known to perform such social learning, and in particular, to mate-copy after a single observation of one conspecific female mating with a male of one phenotype, while the other male phenotype is rejected. Here, we show that this form of social learning is dependent on serotonin and dopamine. Using a pharmacological approach, we reduced dopamine or serotonin synthesis in adult virgin females with 3-iodotyrosine (3-IY) and DL-para-chlorophenylalanine (PCPA), respectively, and then tested their mate-copying performance. We found that, while control females without drug treatment copied the choice of the demonstrator, drug-treated females with reduced dopamine or serotonin chose randomly. To ensure the specificity of the drugs, the direct precursors of the neurotransmitters, either the dopamine precursor L-3,4-dihydroxyphenylalanine (L-DOPA) or the serotonin precursor 5-L-hydroxytryptophan (5-HTP) were given together with the drug, (respectively 3-IY and PCPA) resulting in a full rescue of the mate-copying defects. This indicates that dopamine and serotonin are both required for mate-copying. These results give a first insight into the mechanistic pathway underlying this form of social learning in D. melanogaster.

MATERIALS
Product Number
Brand
Product Description

Sigma-Aldrich
3,4-Dihydroxy-L-phenylalanine, ≥98% (TLC)
Supelco
Serotonin, analytical standard
Sigma-Aldrich
5-Hydroxy-L-tryptophan, powder
Sigma-Aldrich
4-Chloro-DL-phenylalanine
Sigma-Aldrich
3-Iodo-L-tyrosine