The FGLamide-Allatostatins Influence Foraging Behavior in Drosophila melanogaster
by Christine Wang, Ian Chin-Sang, William G. Bendena
Allatostatins (ASTs) are multifunctional neuropeptides that generally act in an inhibitory fashion. ASTs were identified as inhibitors of juvenile hormone biosynthesis. Juvenile hormone regulates insect metamorphosis, reproduction, food intake, growth, and development. Drosophila melanogaster RNAi lines of PheGlyLeu-amide-ASTs (FGLa/ASTs) and their cognate receptor, Dar-1, were used to characterize roles these neuropeptides and their respective receptor may play in behavior and physiology. Dar-1 and FGLa/AST RNAi lines showed a significant reduction in larval foraging in the presence of food. The larval foraging defect is not observed in the absence of food. These RNAi lines have decreased for transcript levels which encodes cGMP- dependent protein kinase. A reduction in the for transcript is known to be associated with a naturally occuring allelic variation that creates a sitter phenotype in contrast to the rover phenotype which is caused by a for allele associated with increased for activity. The sitting phenotype of FGLa/AST and Dar-1 RNAi lines is similar to the phenotype of a deletion mutant of an AST/galanin-like receptor (NPR-9) in Caenorhabditis elegans. Associated with the foraging defect in C. elegans npr-9 mutants is accumulation of intestinal lipid. Lipid accumulation was not a phenotype associated with the FGLa/AST and Dar-1 RNAi lines.
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