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Fanis Missirlis, Marcos Nahmad
The 2nd Mexican Drosophila Research Conference (MexFly) took place on June 30th and July 1st, 2016 in Mexico City, at the Center for Research and Advanced Studies of the National Polytechnic Institute (Cinvestav). Principal investigators, postdocs, students, and technicians from Drosophila labs across Mexico attended. The guest speaker was Chris Rushlow from New York University, who presented work on Zelda, a key transcriptional activator of the early zygotic genome. Here we provide a brief report of the meeting, which sketches the present landscape of Drosophila research in Mexico...
December 14, 2016: Fly
Areti K Manta, Deppie Papadopoulou, Alexander P Polyzos, Adamantia F Fragopoulou, Aikaterini S Skouroliakou, Dimitris Thanos, Dimitrios J Stravopodis, Lukas H Margaritis
The daily use by people of wireless communication devices has increased exponentially in the last decade, begetting concerns regarding its potential health hazards. Drosophila melanogaster four days-old adult female flies were exposed for 30 min to radiation emitted by a commercial mobile phone at a SAR of 0.15 W/kg and a SAE of 270 J/kg. ROS levels and apoptotic follicles were assayed in parallel with a genome-wide microarrays analysis. ROS cellular contents were found to increase by 1.6-fold (x), immediately after the end of exposure, in follicles of pre-choriogenic stages (germarium - stage 10), while sporadically generated apoptotic follicles (germarium 2b and stages 7-9) presented with an averaged 2x upregulation in their sub-population mass, 4 h after fly's irradiation with mobile device...
December 14, 2016: Fly
Daisuke Yamamoto, Soh Kohatsu
The fruitless (fru) gene in Drosophila has been proposed to play a master regulator role in the formation of neural circuitries for male courtship behavior, which is typically considered to be an innate behavior composed of a fixed action pattern as generated by the central pattern generator. However, recent studies have shed light on experience-dependent changes and sensory-input-guided plasticity in courtship behavior. For example, enhanced male-male courtship, a fru mutant "hallmark," disappears when fru-mutant males are raised in isolation...
November 23, 2016: Fly
Séverine Trannoy, Edward A Kravitz
In competition for food, territory and mates, male fruit flies (Drosophila melanogaster) engage in agonistic encounters with conspecifics. The fighting strategies used to obtain these resources are influenced by previous and present experience, environmental cues, and the internal state of the animal including hormonal and genetic influences. Animals that experience prior defeats show submissive behavior and are more likely to lose 2(nd) contests, while animals that win 1(st) fights are more aggressive and have a higher probability of winning 2(nd) contests...
November 11, 2016: Fly
Katarzyna Siudeja, Allison J Bardin
Somatic recombination is essential to protect genomes of somatic cells from DNA damage but it also has important clinical implications, as it is a driving force of tumorigenesis leading to inactivation of tumor suppressor genes. Despite this importance, our knowledge about somatic recombination in adult tissues remains very limited. Our recent work, using the Drosophila adult midgut has demonstrated that spontaneous events of mitotic recombination accumulate in aging adult intestinal stem cells and result in frequent loss of heterozygosity (LOH)...
November 11, 2016: Fly
F Javier Bernardo-Garcia, Tim-Henning Humberg, Cornelia Fritsch, Simon G Sprecher
Development of the insect compound eye requires a highly controlled interplay between transcription factors. However, the genetic mechanisms that link early eye field specification to photoreceptor terminal differentiation and fate maintenance remain largely unknown. Here, we decipher the function of two transcription factors, Glass and Hazy, which play a central role during photoreceptor development. The regulatory interactions between Glass and Hazy suggest that they function together in a coherent feed-forward loop in all types of Drosophila photoreceptors...
October 10, 2016: Fly
Pierre B Cattenoz, Angela Giangrande
Master genes are known to induce the differentiation of a multipotent cell into a specific cell type. These molecules are often transcription factors that switch on the regulatory cascade that triggers cell specification. Gcm was first described as the master gene of the glial fate in Drosophila as it induces the differentiation of neuroblasts into glia in the developing nervous system. Later on, Gcm was also shown to regulate the differentiation of blood, tendon and peritracheal cells as well as that of neuronal subsets...
October 2016: Fly
Deborah A Hursh, Brian G Stultz, Sung Yeon Park
decapentaplegic (dpp), the Drosophila ortholog of BMP 2/4, directs ventral adult head morphogenesis through expression in the peripodial epithelium of the eye-antennal disc. This dpp expressing domain exerts effects both on the peripodial epithelium, and the underlying disc proper epithelium. We have uncovered a role for the Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK) pathway in dpp-mediated ventral head development. JNK activity is required for dpp's action on the disc proper, but in the absence of dpp expression, excessive JNK activity is produced, leading to specific loss of maxillary palps...
October 2016: Fly
Marcus Michel, Christian Dahmann
During animal development, cells with similar function and fate often stay together and sort out from cells with different fates. In Drosophila wing imaginal discs, cells of anterior and posterior fates are separated by a straight compartment boundary. Separation of anterior and posterior cells requires the homeodomain-containing protein Engrailed, which is expressed in posterior cells. Engrailed induces the expression of the short-range signaling molecule Hedgehog in posterior cells and confines Hedgehog signal transduction to anterior cells...
October 2016: Fly
Olivier Lamiable, Carine Meignin, Jean-Luc Imler
Remarkable progress has been made on the understanding of the basic mechanisms of innate immunity in flies, from sensing infection to production of effector molecules. However, how the immune response is orchestrated at the level of the organism remains poorly understood. While cytokines activating immune responses, such as Spaetzle or Unpaired-3, have been identified and characterized in Drosophila, much less is known regarding immunosuppressor cytokines. In a recent publication, we reported the identification of a novel cytokine, Diedel, which acts as systemic negative regulator of the IMD pathway...
October 2016: Fly
Su Deng, Ingo Bothe, Mary Baylies
From Drosophila to man, multinucleated muscle cells form through cell-cell fusion. Using Drosophila as a model system, researchers first identified, and then demonstrated, the importance of actin cytoskeletal rearrangements at the site of fusion. These actin rearrangements at the fusion site are regulated by SCAR and WASp mediated Arp2/3 activation, which nucleates branched actin networks. Loss of SCAR, WASp or both leads to defects in myoblast fusion. Recently, we have found that the actin regulator Diaphanous (Dia) also plays a role both in organizing actin and in regulating Arp2/3 activity at the fusion site...
October 2016: Fly
Xian B Mardiros, Ronni Park, Bryan Clifton, Gurman Grewal, Amina K Khizar, Therese A Markow, José M Ranz, Alberto Civetta
Speciation can occur through the presence of reproductive isolation barriers that impede mating, restrict cross-fertilization, or render inviable/sterile hybrid progeny. The D. willistoni subgroup is ideally suited for studies of speciation, with examples of both allopatry and sympatry, a range of isolation barriers, and the availability of one species complete genome sequence to facilitate genetic studies of divergence. D. w. willistoni has the largest geographic distribution among members of the Drosophila willistoni subgroup, spanning from Argentina to the southern United States, including the Caribbean islands...
October 2016: Fly
Manabu Tsuda, Toshiro Aigaki
The Drosophila sex-peptide (SP) has been identified as a seminal fluid component that induces post-mating responses (PMRs) in the inseminated females, such as inhibition of remating and stimulation of egg-laying. SP has been thought to play a central role in sexual conflict and sexually antagonistic co-evolution. Most of the sequenced Drosophila genomes contain SP orthologs, but their functions have been poorly characterized. Recently, we have investigated cross-species activity of D. melanogaster SP by means of injection into virgin females of other species...
October 2016: Fly
Subhash Rajpurohit, Paul S Schmidt
Measuring thermal behavior in smaller insects is particularly challenging. In this study, we describe a new horizontal thermal gradient apparatus designed to study adult thermal behavior in small insects and apply it using D. melanogaster as a model and case study. Specifically, we used this apparatus and associated methodology to examine the effects of sex, geographic origin, and developmental rearing temperature on temperature preferences exhibited by adults in a controlled laboratory environment. The thermal gradient established by the apparatus was stable over diurnal and calendar time...
October 2016: Fly
Allison K Timmons, Albert A Mondragon, Tracy L Meehan, Kimberly McCall
Programmed cell death occurs as a normal part of oocyte development in Drosophila. For each egg that is formed, 15 germline-derived nurse cells transfer their cytoplasmic contents into the oocyte and die. Disruption of apoptosis or autophagy only partially inhibits the death of the nurse cells, indicating that other mechanisms significantly contribute to nurse cell death. Recently, we demonstrated that the surrounding stretch follicle cells non-autonomously promote nurse cell death during late oogenesis and that phagocytosis genes including draper, ced-12, and the JNK pathway are crucial for this process...
September 29, 2016: Fly
Aleksei S Shatskikh, Yuriy A Abramov, Sergey A Lavrov
Trans-inactivation is the repression of genes on a normal chromosome under the influence of a rearranged homologous chromosome demonstrating the position effect variegation (PEV). This phenomenon was studied in detail on the example of brown(Dominant) allele causing the repression of wild-type brown gene on the opposite chromosome. We have investigated another trans-inactivation-inducing chromosome rearrangement, In(2)A4 inversion. In both cases, brown(Dominant) and In(2)A4, the repression seems to be the result of dragging of the euchromatic region of the normal chromosome into the heterochromatic environment...
August 19, 2016: Fly
Alejandra Perez-Leanos, Mariana Ramirez Loustalot Laclette, Nestor Nazario Yepiz, Therese Ann Markow
Only two parasite interactions are known for Drosophila to date: Allantonematid nematodes associated with mycophagous Drosophilids and the ectoparasitic mite Macrocheles subbadius with the Sonoran Desert endemic Drosophila nigrospiracula. Unlike the nematode-Drosophila association, breadth of mite parasitism on Drosophila species is unknown. As M. subbadius is a generalist, parasitism of additional Drosophilids is expected. We determined the extent and distribution of mite parasitism in nature Drosophilids collected in Mexico and southern California...
August 19, 2016: Fly
Neha Diwanji, Andreas Bergmann
Apoptosis-induced proliferation (AiP) maintains tissue homeostasis following massive stress-induced cell death. During this phenomenon, dying cells induce proliferation of the surviving cells to compensate for the tissue loss, and thus restore organ size. Along with wound healing and tissue regeneration, AiP also contributes to tumor repopulation following radiation or chemotherapy. There are several models of AiP. Using an "undead" AiP model that causes hyperplastic overgrowth of Drosophila epithelial tissue, we recently demonstrated that extracellular reactive oxygen species (eROS) are produced by undead epithelial cells, and are necessary for inducing AiP and overgrowth...
August 15, 2016: Fly
Soshiro Kashio, Fumiaki Obata, Masayuki Miura
Living organisms experience tissue damage from both, the surrounding environment and from inside their bodies. Tissue repair/regeneration is triggered by local tissue injury to restore an injured, or lost, part of the body. Tissue damage results in a series of responses, not only locally but also systemically in distant tissues. In our recent publication, we established a "dual system" that induces spatiotemporal tissue damage simultaneously with gene manipulation in surrounding tissues. With this system, we demonstrated that appropriate regulation of methionine metabolism in the fat body is required for tissue repair in Drosophila wing discs, thus highlighting the importance of systemic damage response (SDR) in tissue repair...
August 11, 2016: Fly
Amir Yassin
A full understanding of how ecological factors drive the fixation of genetic changes during speciation is obscured by the lack of appropriate models with clear natural history and powerful genetic toolkits. In a recent study, we described an early stage of ecological speciation in a population of the generalist species Drosophila yakuba (melanogaster subgroup) on the island of Mayotte (Indian Ocean). On this island, flies are strongly associated with the toxic fruits of noni (Morinda citrifolia) and show a partial degree of pre-zygotic reproductive isolation...
August 11, 2016: Fly
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