All's fly in love and war
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Alcoholism is a serious and widespread disorder that has a complex pathophysiology and can cause extreme changes in behavior. These changes in behavior arise from alcohol affecting the neurobiological systems in an organism. Flies share many similar alcohol related behavior with humans and they also share many of the same neurobiological systems. There are many advantages with using flies to understand alcohol related behaviors in humans (e.g. large genetic toolkit). However, flies have fewer behavioral models that assess for alcohol-related behaviors, which can limit the potential of using this model organism. Can we model more sophisticated alcohol-related behaviors in flies? In this dissertation, I provide evidence that flies share a number of alcohol-related behaviors with humans. In the first section, I develop an alcohol preference assay that demonstrates sexually dimorphic alcohol preference. In the second section, I characterize a novel low dose alcohol behavior in male flies that is male flies become more aggressive when treated with alcohol. In the third section, I focus on the female response to low dose alcohol, which is females become more receptive to courtship and less choosy about mates after an alcohol treatment. In the fourth section, I present data that demonstrates how a gene fruitless is alcohol responsive and could be contributing to some alcohol behavioral phenotypes. Taken together, this work expands the potential of flies to be used as a model organism for alcohol-related behaviors in humans.