Studies have shown that in #fruit_flies (#Drosophila_melanogaster), #gut_bacteria may impact the #choice_of_a_mate (#mating_preference) as well as the #number_and_health_of_the_offspring.

The #gut_microbiota of fruit flies was manipulated so that the flies had either Acetobacter pomorum (AP), a bacterium commonly found in vinegar; or Lactobacillus plantarum (LP), a bacterium commonly found in #dairy_products, in their guts. It was revealed that male flies with LP bacteria had sex for longer durations and produced more #children than male flies having AP bacteria.

Surprisingly, female flies with either AP or LP bacteria were more likely to become #sterile after mating with a male having AP, suggesting that the gut microbiota can influence #male_fertility.

Furthermore, in some cases, the parents' gut bacteria was also found to impact their children. Daughters with AP parents had a lower #body_mass, than daughters with one or both parents having LP bacteria, suggesting the role of gut bacteria in the #fitness of the offspring.

These findings can be loosely extrapolated to us humans, as a significant part of our #genome is similar to the fly genome. Similar experiments in humans could one day shed light on how the gut bacteria influence our #behaviour. Such studies would further enrich our understanding of behavior as a complex entity, as it has already been established that the gut microbiota impacts our #mood.

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