Animals have to judge environmental cues and choose the most suitable option for them from many different options. Female fruit flies selecting an optimum site to deposit their eggs is a biologically important reproductive behavior. When given the direct choice between ovipositing their eggs in a sucrose-containing medium or a caffeine-containing medium, female flies prefer the latter. However, the neural circuits and molecules that regulate this decision-making processes during egg-laying site selection remain poorly understood. In the present study, we found that amnesiac (amn) mutant flies show significant defects in egg-laying decisions, and such defects can be reversed by expressing the wild-type amn transgene in two dorsal paired medial (DPM) neurons in the brain. Silencing neuronal activity with an inward rectifier potassium channel (Kir2.1) in DPM neurons also impairs egg-laying decisions. Finally, the activity in mushroom body αβ neurons is required for the egg-laying behavior, suggesting a possible "DPM-αβ neurons" brain circuit modulating egg-laying decisions. Our results highlight the brain circuits and molecular mechanisms of egg-laying decisions in Drosophila.
Wu, C. L., Fu, T. F., Chou, Y. Y., & Yeh, S. R. (2015). A single pair of neurons modulates egg-laying decisions in Drosophila. PLoS ONE, 10(3). https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0121335