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Scholars Day: April 7, 2010

Analysis of a Bisexual Mutant in Drosophila

The field of animal behavior is an active area of research, with debates centering on the relative contributions of genes and the environment. Although most scientists today accept the idea that genes play a role in controlling behavior, a number of questions remain including, “What are these genes?” and “How do they exert their effect?” The answers to these questions are largely unknown. We have now discovered a novel Drosophila mutant whose males engage in high frequency of courtship behavior with other males (homosexual courtship). This is an unusual behavior because Drosophila males normally court females and avoid other males. We have provisionally named the gene involved in this phenotype as the bisexual (bisex) gene. Our current work is directed at precisely mapping the position of this gene on one of the Drosophila chromosomes as a first step in studying the gene.

Presenter: Michael Nguyen (Undergraduate Student)
Topic: Biology
Location: 101 Edwards
Time: 11:25 am (Session II)