Early social experiences increase Drosophila female receptivity: Stimuli-based modulation of female mating decisions

Date of Award

Spring 2017

Document Type

Restricted Thesis

Terms of Use

© 2017 Gurrein K. Madan. All rights reserved.

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


Biology Department

First Advisor

Kathleen King Siwicki


This project investigates the effect of different types of early social experiences on female Drosophila sexual receptivity. We compare these effects to the receptivity of Drosophila females raised in complete isolation. Critical to this project is the time period of the females' lives when experience-dependent changes in their receptivity are induced i.e. when the females are three days old. Additionally, our study focuses on refining experimental methods and conditions by which female receptivity can be assayed. We find that social experiences in the form of grouped rearing promote female receptivity, and that there is a plastic component to a female's receptivity. Female receptivity, therefore, is not entirely innate and can be modulated by experience. This study contributes to the relatively limited literature on female Drosophila behavior.

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