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All Posts Author: Wise, Amber

January 23, 2017 Zhan, Y. P.. Liu, L.. Zhu, Y.. Taotie neurons regulate appetite in Drosophila. Nature 7, Article number: 13633(2016). Doi: 10.1038/ncomms13633

New findings regarding the neurological regulation of feeding rate suggest interesting factors behind fruit fly nutrition and obesity. After a screening of GAL4 lines in adult Drosophila brains, one line (Taotie-GAL4) was identified to have an impact on food intake. Further study showed that activation of Taotie neurons increased food intake over five-fold when compared to control flies. However, when starved for over 60 hours, Taotie activated flies showed no difference in food intake compared to equally starved non-activated flies. This suggests that activation of the Taotie neuron is involved in hunger response normally. Activation of the Taotie neuron in flies that were sufficiently nourished resulted in fly obesity. Interestingly, inactivation of activated neurons effectively reversed the obese trend, as deactivated flies not only returned to normal feeding habits, but effectively controlled their food intake until normalcy was established. 

Diet dominates host genotype in shaping the murine gut microbiota. Carmody, 2015

Environmental factors play a more significant factor on determining host gut microbiome composition than genetics. Tests on on five inbred mouse strains systematically fed controlled diets sowed that despite differences in genotype, the microbiota in each strain was in fact altered.  Additionally, by varying the host’s controlled diet, data demonstrates that microbiota is not determined by a single initial food source but can be altered over time, further supporting that environmental factors including changes in diet will more significantly impact microbiome than host genotype.

The inconstant gut microbiota of Drosophila species revealed by 16S rRNA gene analysis

doi:10.1038/ismej.2013.86 Because many species (usually non-mammal species) have shown presence of a core gut microbiota, this study tested whether such was also the case within different Drosophila species. Results showed an absence of core microbiota and that bacterial species co-occurred less frequently than would be considered random. Results suggest that gut bacteria do not co-evolve with host Drosophila and would be unhelpful if used to track phylogeny among host species.

Nature 19:171-174. doi:10.1038/534

Tony L. Parkes, Andrew J. Elia, Dale Dickinson, Arthur J. Hilliker, John P. Phillips & Gabrielle L. Boulianne. (1998) Extension of Drosophila lifespan by overexpression of human SOD1 in motorneurons. Nature 19:171-174. doi:10.1038/534.

Glaser, Rjvka L. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1086/378419

Rivka L. Glaser, Karl W. Broman, Rebecca L. Schulman, Brenda Eskenazi, Andrew J. Wyrobek, Ethylin Wang Jabs. (2003) The Paternal-Age Effect in Apert Syndrome Is Due, in Part, to the Increased frequency of Mutations in Sperm. AJHG 73(4):939-947. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1086/378419