Date of Award


Level of Access Assigned by Author

Open-Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)




Harold B. Dowse

Second Committee Member

Mary S. Tyler

Third Committee Member

John M. Ringo


In Drosophila, the male courtship ritual is stereotyped and under the control of several genes including fruitless. In previous studies, it has been show that various fruitless alleles cause phenotypic abnormalities in the D. melanogaster courtship ritual. It is also known that there is a high level of co-expression of both the fruitless gene product and serotonin in specific neurons of the Drosophila CNS. This study examines the role of serotonin in the Drosophila male courtship ritual by using a mutant strain, Ddc^ts1,in which the production of serotonin is blocked above 30°C. In this study an increase in temperature caused a decrease in general activity as well as a decrease in several courtship behaviors. Also above 30°C there was increased homosexual courtship among males. Ddc^ts1 flies were observed copulating with a smaller latency than wild-type flies. Finally, deprivation of serotonin decreased the frequency of wing extensions performed by a courting male.

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