Abnormal Social Interactions in a Drosophila Mutant of an Autism Candidate Gene: Neuroligin 3 Journal Articles uri icon

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  • Social interactions are typically impaired in neuropsychiatric disorders such as autism, for which the genetic underpinnings are very complex. Social interactions can be modeled by analysis of behaviors, including social spacing, sociability, and aggression, in simpler organisms such as Drosophila melanogaster. Here, we examined the effects of mutants of the autism-related gene neuroligin 3 (nlg3) on fly social and non-social behaviors. Startled-induced negative geotaxis is affected by a loss of function nlg3 mutation. Social space and aggression are also altered in a sex- and social-experience-specific manner in nlg3 mutant flies. In light of the conserved roles that neuroligins play in social behavior, our results offer insight into the regulation of social behavior in other organisms, including humans.


  • Yost, Ryley T
  • Robinson, J Wesley
  • Baxter, Carling M
  • Scott, Andrew M
  • Brown, Liam P
  • Aletta, M Sol
  • Hakimjavadi, Ramtin
  • Lone, Asad
  • Cumming, Robert C
  • Dukas, Reuven
  • Mozer, Brian
  • Simon, Anne F

publication date

  • June 29, 2020