Anxiety-like behaviour is regulated independently from sex, mating status, and the sex peptide receptor in Drosophila melanogaster

Bath, Eleanor, Thomson, Jessica and Perry, Jen (2020) Anxiety-like behaviour is regulated independently from sex, mating status, and the sex peptide receptor in Drosophila melanogaster. Animal Behaviour. ISSN 0003-3472 (In Press)

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Abstract

Sex differences in anxiety-related behaviours have been documented in many animals and are notable in human populations. A major goal in behaviour research is to understand why and how sex differences in cognitive-emotional states like anxiety arise and are regulated throughout life. Anxiety allows individuals to detect and respond to threats. Mating is a candidate regulator for anxiety because threats are likely to change – often in sex-specific ways – when individuals shift to a post-mating reproductive state. However, we know little about how mating mediates anxiety-related behaviour in males and females, or about how males might influence female anxiety via seminal proteins transferred during mating. To address this gap, we examined anxiety-related behaviour in the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster, an emerging model animal for anxiety, with respect to sex, mating, and sex peptide, a seminal protein known to modulate a host of female post-mating responses in fruit flies. We assayed anxiety-like behaviour using the open-field assay to assess individual avoidance of the interior of an arena (‘wall-following’ behaviour). We found sex differences in activity level, but no evidence for sex differences in wall-following behaviour. We found no effects of mating in either sex, or of the presence of the sex peptide receptor in females, on wall-following.  Our results suggest that anxiety is not one of the cognitive-emotional states regulated by mating and sex peptide in fruit flies, and that researchers need an alternative model for sex differences in anxiety.

Item Type: Article
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Science > School of Biological Sciences
Depositing User: LivePure Connector
Date Deposited: 30 Apr 2020 00:02
Last Modified: 01 Jul 2020 23:59
URI: https://ueaeprints.uea.ac.uk/id/eprint/74897
DOI:

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