Assistant professor of neuroscience and specialist in Drosophila fruit fly behaviors María de la Paz Fernández has published new extensive research on these test subjects.
In the Journal of Experimental Biology, Fernández published a paper on how sex mutations in flies impact their fighting methods. With the understanding that aggression patterns are linked to sex, Fernández and her colleagues studied how these traits presented themselves in "genetically masculinized" female flies. Their results demonstrated that male aggressive traits are quicker to present themselves when the flies are threatened, and opened opportunities for further research on sex-linked aggression.
In STAR Protocols, Fernández investigates an established method for observing Drosophila under conditions of varying light and temperature. The researchers outline a structure for breeding and observing the flies, as well as the computational and statistical methods needed to analyze results.
In Frontiers in Behavioral Science, Fernández and colleagues examine how availability and quality of food resources impact aggression levels and fighting styles in Drosophila. Separating two populations of flies based on sugar-free and sugar-rich diets, the researchers found that the former employed visual tactics of aggression, while the latter preferred physical methods.