Utilization of Courtship Behavioral Elements to Understand the Toxicity of Methyl methanesulfonate in Drosophila melanogaster

Jump To References Section


  • Department of Bioscience, University of Mysore, P.G. Centre, Hemagangothri, Hassan – 573220, Karnataka ,IN
  • Department of Bioscience, University of Mysore, P.G. Centre, Hemagangothri, Hassan – 573220, Karnataka ,IN




Courtship Elements, Drosophila melanogaster, Methyl methanesulfonate, Toxicity


A standard, monofunctional alkylating agent, Methyl methanesulfonate, was tested for its effects on courtship behavioral elements in Drosophila melanogaster. Different concentrations ranging from 0.1 to 3 mM were analyzed using the larval feeding technique. When the different combinations of crosses were performed to analyze the effects, the results have revealed that male courtship elements such as orientation, tapping, wing vibration and licking were significantly increased compared to controls. Similar data were observed in case of female behavior. Nonetheless, the courtship behavior interms of fitness such as courtship latency and copulation latency were significantly high and copulation duration was significantly reduced, thus emphasizing the effect on fitness and inturn viability. On par with earlier data on toxicity, the present results also demonstrate the drastic effects of Methyl Methanesulfonate (MMS) on the courtship behavior of D. melanogaster. Thus, it is opined that courtship elements as a parameter can be utilized to understand toxicity and also it can be analyzed within a short period of time.


Download data is not yet available.



How to Cite

Divyashree, B. U., & Vasudev, V. (2021). Utilization of Courtship Behavioral Elements to Understand the Toxicity of Methyl methanesulfonate in <i>Drosophila melanogaster</i>. Toxicology International, 28(3), 245–253. https://doi.org/10.18311/ti/2021/v28i3/27416



Original Research
Received 2021-03-24
Accepted 2021-05-27
Published 2021-08-23



Brewen JG, Payne HS, Jones KP, Preston RJ. Studies on chemically induced dominant lethality. I. The cytogenetic basis of MMS-induced dominant lethality in post-meiotic male germ cells. Mutat Res. 1975; 33(2- 3):239–49. https://doi.org/10.1016/0027-5107(75)902 00-6 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/0027-5107(75)90200-6

Vogel E, Natarajan AT. The relation between reaction kinetics and mutagenic action of mono-functional alkylating agents in higher eukaryotic systems: I. Recessive lethal mutations and translocations in Drosophila. Mutat Res Fund Mol Mech Mutagen. 1979; 62(1):51–100. https://doi.org/10.1016/0027- 5107(79)90223-9 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/0027-5107(79)90223-9

Vasudev V, Mahmood R, Harish SK, Guruprasad KP. Comparative analysis of error-free DNA repair (adaptive response) induced by EMS and MMS in Poecilocerus pictus and mouse. Environmental Pollution and Genetic Risk. M. Hemaprasad and PP Reddy, Ed. M/s. Murthy Graphics, Hyderabad. 1997; 59–68.

Kaya B. Anti-genotoxic effect of ascorbic acid on mutagenic dose of three alkylating agents. Turk J Biol. 2004; 27(4):241–6.

Pottenger LH, Schisler MR, Zhang F, Bartels MJ, Fontaine DD, McFadden LG, Gollapudi BB. Doseresponse and operational thresholds/NOAELs for in vitro mutagenic effects from DNA-reactive mutagens, MMS and MNU. Mutat Res. 2009; 678(2):138–47. PMid: 19616119. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.mrgentox. 2009.07.002 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.mrgentox.2009.07.002

Hartwig A, Arand M, Epe B, Guth S, Jahnke G, Lampen A, Martus HJ, Monien B, Rietjens IM, Schmitz-Spanke S, Schriever-Schwemmer G. Mode of action-based risk assessment of genotoxic carcinogens. Arch Toxicol. 2020; 94(6):1787–877. PMid: 32542409 PMCid: PMC7303094. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00204- 020-02733-2 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s00204-020-02733-2

Hurley LH. DNA and its associated processes as targets for cancer therapy. Nat Rev Cancer. 2002; 2(3):188– 200. PMid: 11990855. https://doi.org/10.1038/nrc749 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1038/nrc749

Kaina B, Christmann M, Naumann S, Roos WP. MGMT: Key node in the battle against genotoxicity, carcinogenicity and apoptosis induced by alkylating agents. DNA Repair. 2007; 6(8):1079–99. PMid: 17485253. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.dnarep.2007.03.008 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.dnarep.2007.03.008

Ralhan R, Kaur J. Alkylating agents and cancer therapy. Expert OpinTher Pat. 2007; 17(9):1061–75. https://doi.org/10.1517/13543776.17.9.1061 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1517/13543776.17.9.1061

Kondo N, Takahashi A, Ono K, Ohnishi T. DNA damage induced by alkylating agents and repair pathways. Journal of Nucleic Acids. 2010; 543531. PMid: 21113301 PMCid: PMC2989456. https://doi. org/10.4061/2010/543531 DOI: https://doi.org/10.4061/2010/543531

Lossos C, Liu Y, Kolb KE, Christie AL, Van Scoyk A, Prakadan SM, Shigemori K, Stevenson KE, Morrow S, Plana OD, Fraser C. Mechanisms of lymphoma clearance induced by high-dose alkylating agents. Cancer Discovery. 2019; 9(7):944–61. PMid: 31040105 PMCid: PMC6606344. https://doi.org/10.1158/2159- 8290.CD-18-1393 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1158/2159-8290.CD-18-1393

Muller HJ. Artificial transmutation of the Gene. Science. 1927; 66:84–7. PMid: 17802387. https://doi. org/10.1126/science.66.1699.84 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1126/science.66.1699.84

Lüning KG. Drosophila-tests in pharmacology. Nature. 1966; 209(5018):84–6. PMid: 5956339. https:// doi.org/10.1038/210104a0 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1038/209084a0

Vogel E, Sobels FH. The function of Drosophila in genetic toxicology testing. Chemical mutagens. Boston, MA: Springer; 1976; 93–142. https://doi. org/10.1007/978-1-4684-0892-8_4 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4684-0892-8_4

Sturtevant AH. Experiments on sex recognition and the problem of sexual selection in Drosophila. Anim Behav. 1915; 5(5):351. https://doi.org/10.1037/ h0074109 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1037/h0074109

Vasudev V, Gurushankara HP, Vishwaprakash Mahadimane P, Khalandar D, Shamprasad BR. Effects of fungicide Dithane M 45 in Drosophila melanogaster on courtship behavior. Dros Inf Serv. 2013; 96:94–8.

Vasudev V, Krishnamurthy NB. Toxicity of Dithane M-45 on Drosophila melanogaster. Experientia. 1979; 35(4):528–9. https://doi.org/10.1007/BF01922750 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/BF01922750

Delcour J. A rapid and efficient method of egg collecting. Dros Inf Serv. 1969; 44:133–4.

Vasudev V, Krishnamurthy NB. Effect of Dithane M-45 on the rate of development, viability, morphology and fecundity in Drosophila melanogaster. J Mysore Univ. 1982; 29:79–86.

Sorsa M, Pfeifer S. Response of puffing pattern to in vivo treatments with organomercurials in Drosophila melanogaster. Hereditas. 1973; 74(1):89–102. PMid: 4202374. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1601-5223.1973. tb01107.x DOI: https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1601-5223.1973.tb01107.x

Vasudev V, Krishnamutrhy NB. Preliminary studies on the effect of cadmium chloride on. D. melanogaster. Dros Inf Serv.1981; 56:153–4.

Vasudev V, Krishnamurthy NB. Utilization of Drosophila to understand the toxicity and mutagenicity of Baygon. Environ Pollut Resources Land Water. 1991; 205–13.

Bastock M, Manning A. The courtship of Drosophila melanogaster. Behaviour. 1955; 1:85–111. https://doi. org/10.1163/156853955X00184 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1163/156853955X00184

Spieth HT. Courtship behavior in Drosophila. Annu Rev Entomol. 1974; 19(1):385–405. PMid: 4205689. https://doi.org/10.1146/annurev.en.19.010174.002125 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1146/annurev.en.19.010174.002125

Nazari M, Hegde SN. Effect of fluoxetine on the courtship latency, mating latency and copulation duration of Drosophila melanogaster. J Postgrad Med Inst. 2006; 20(1):58–63.

Nazari M. Effect of fluoxetine on the sexual behaviour of Drosophila melanogaster. J Postgrad Med Inst. 2011; 25(4):298–303.

Roy SS, Ghosh S. Effects of fruit ripening Retardant Alar (Daminozide) on behaviour of Drosophila melanogaster. Proc Zool Soc. 2019; 73(3):296–301. https://doi.org/10.1007/s12595-019-00316-3 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s12595-019-00316-3

Eastwood L, Burnet B. Courtship latency in male Drosophila melanogaster. Behav Genet. 1977; 7(5):359–72. PMid: 411472. https://doi.org/10.1007/ BF01077449 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/BF01077449

Hegde SN, Krishna MS. Size-assortative mating in Drosophila malerkotliana. Anim Behav. 1997; 54(2):419–26. PMid: 9268474. https://doi.org/10.1006/ anbe.1996.0485 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1006/anbe.1996.0485

Markow TA. Reproductive behavior of Drosophila melanogaster and D. nigrospiracula in the field and in the laboratory. J Comp Psychol. 1988; 102(2):169– 73. PMid: 3135147. https://doi.org/10.1037/0735-70 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1037/0735-7036.102.2.169

Ejima A, Griffith LC. Measurement of courtship behavior in Drosophila melanogaster. Cold Spring Harb Protoc. 2007; 1:10. PMid: 21356948. https://doi. org/10.1101/pdb.prot4847 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1101/pdb.prot4847

Markow TA, Quaid M, Kerr S. Male mating experience and competitive courtship success in Drosophila melanogaster. Nature. 1978; 276(5690):821–2. https:// doi.org/10.1038/276821a0 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1038/276821a0

Hegde SN, Krishnamurthy NB. Studies on mating behaviour in the Drosophila bipectinata complex. Australian Journal of Zoology. 1979; 27(3):421–31. https://doi.org/10.1071/ZO9790421 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1071/ZO9790421

Spieth HT. Evolutionary implications of sexual behavior in Drosophila. Evolutionary Biology. Boston, MA: Springer; 1968; 157–93. https://doi. org/10.1007/978-1-4684-8094-8_4 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4684-8094-8_4

Spiess EB. Mating propensity and its genetic basis in Drosophila. Essays in Evolution and genetics in honor of Theodosius Dobzhansky. Boston, MA: Springer; 1970; 315–79. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4615-9585- 4_12 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4615-9585-4_12

Guruprasad BR, Hegde SN, Krishna MS. Positive relation between male size and remating success in some populations of Drosophila bipectinata. Zool Stud. 2008; 47(1):75. http://zoolstud.sinica.edu.tw/ Journals/47.1/75.pdf

Roy SS, Begum M, Ghosh S. Exploration of teratogenic and genotoxic effects of fruit ripening retardant Alar (Daminozide) on model organism Drosophila melanogaster. Interdiscip Toxicol. 2018; 11(1):27–37. PMid: 30181710 PMCid: PMC6117819. https://doi. org/10.2478/intox-2018-0004 DOI: https://doi.org/10.2478/intox-2018-0004

Spieth HT, Ringo JM. Mating behavior and sexual isolation in Drosophila. The genetics and biology of Drosophila. 1983; 3:223–84.

Spieth HT. Courtship patterns and evolution of the Drosophila adiastola and planitibia species subgroups. Evolution. 1978; 1:435–51. PMid: 28563728. https:// doi.org/10.1111/j.1558-5646.1978.tb00658.x DOI: https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1558-5646.1978.tb00658.x

Scott D, Richmond RC, Carlson DA. Pheromones exchanged during mating: A mechanism for mate assessment in Drosophila. Anim Behav. 1988; 36(4):1164–73. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0003-3472(8 8)80075-7 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/S0003-3472(88)80075-7

Tompkins L, Gross AC, Hall JC, Gailey DA, Siegel RW. The role of female movement in the sexual behavior of Drosophila melanogaster. Behav Genet. 1982; 12(3):295–307. PMid: 6812562. https://doi. org/10.1007/BF01067849 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/BF01067849

Taylor CE, Kekic V. Sexual selection in a natural population of Drosophila melanogaster. Evolution. 1988; 42(1):197–9. PMid: 28563853. https://doi. org/10.2307/2409128 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1558-5646.1988.tb04120.x

Markow TA, Bustoz D, Pitnick S. Sexual selection and a secondary sexual character in two Drosophila species. Anim Behav. 1996; 52(4):759–66. https://doi. org/10.1006/anbe.1996.0220 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1006/anbe.1996.0220