Student Summer Scholars




The neurotransmitter histamine has been shown to have effects on the visual and mechanosensory systems in Drosophila melanogaster, both functions that can be ascribed to histamine in peripheral sensory cells. This study was initiated to determine whether central brain histamine function could be identified in Drosophila by studying courtship behavior in flies lacking central brain histamine. Mutant flies were developed and tested in single pair mating experiments, in which the behaviors of the flies were visually documented and recorded. Analysis of results showed that as the level of histamine present in the fly increased, so did copulation success. Individual behaviors varied based on the genotype of each fly in the pair being observed. It was found that several alterations in courtship behavior could be ascribed to central brain histamine function. This result could have implications in behavioral disorders in humans as Drosophila melanogaster carry similar genes and have been shown to be good model organisms for understanding the basic cell function in human disease