Mutation of Drosophila dopamine receptor DopR leads to male-male courtship behavior.
In Drosophila, dopamine plays important roles in many biological processes as a neuromodulator. Previous studies showed that dopamine level could affect fly courtship behaviors. Disturbed dopamine level leads to abnormal courtship behavior in two different ways. Dopamine up-regulation induces male-male courtship behavior, while down-regulation of dopamine level results in increased sexual attractiveness of males towards other male flies. Until now, the identity of the dopamine receptor involved in this abnormal male-male courtship behavior remains unknown. Here we used genetic approaches to investigate the role of dopamine receptors in fly courtship behavior. We found that a dopamine D1-like receptor, DopR, was involved in fly courtship behavior. DopR mutant male flies display male-male courtship behavior. This behavior is mainly due to the male's increased propensity to court other males. Expression of functional DopR successfully rescued this mutant phenotype. Knock-down of D2-like receptor D2R and another D1-like receptor, DAMB, did not induce male-male courtship behavior, indicating the receptor-type specificity of this phenomenon. Our findings provide insight into a possible link between dopamine level disturbance and the induced male-male courtship behavior. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.