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Monitoring food preference in Drosophila by oligonucleotide tagging

Penelitian - Drosophila melanogaster is a powerful model organism for dissecting the neurogenetic basis of appetitive and aversive behaviors. However, some methods used to assay food preference require or cause starvation.

This can be problematic for fly ethanol research because it can be difficult to dissociate caloric preference for ethanol from pharmacological preference for the drug. Researchers of the University of Texas at Austin designed BARCODE, a starvation-independent assay that uses trace levels of oligonucleotide tags to differentially mark food types.

Penelitian Monitoring food preference in Drosophila by oligonucleotide tagging

In BARCODE, flies feed ad libitum, and relative food preference is monitored by qPCR of the oligonucleotides. Persistence of the ingested oligomers within the fly records the feeding history of the fly over several days. Researchers report to PNAS.

“Using BARCODE, we identified a sexually dimorphic preference for ethanol. Females are attracted to ethanol-laden foods, whereas males avoid consuming it,“ said Annie Park and colleagues.

“Furthermore, genetically feminizing male mushroom body lobes induces preference for ethanol. In addition, we demonstrate that BARCODE can be used for multiplex diet measurements when animals are presented with more than two food choices,“ Park said.



Journal : Annie Park et al. Monitoring food preference in Drosophila by oligonucleotide tagging, PNAS, August 20, 2018, DOI:10.1073/pnas.1716880115

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