Positive geotactic behaviors induced by geomagnetic field in Drosophila

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Abstract

© 2016 Bae et al.Background: Appropriate vertical movement is critical for the survival of flying animals. Although negative geotaxis (moving away from Earth) driven by gravity has been extensively studied, much less is understood concerning a static regulatory mechanism for inducing positive geotaxis (moving toward Earth). Results: Using Drosophila melanogaster as a model organism, we showed that geomagnetic field (GMF) induces positive geotaxis and antagonizes negative gravitaxis. Remarkably, GMF acts as a sensory cue for an appetite-driven associative learning behavior through the GMF-induced positive geotaxis. This GMF-induced positive geotaxis requires the three geotaxis genes, such as cry, pyx and pdf, and the corresponding neurons residing in Johnston's organ of the fly's antennae. Conclusions: These findings provide a novel concept with the neurogenetic basis on the regulation of vertical movement by GMF in the flying animals.

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Bae, J. E., Bang, S., Min, S., Lee, S. H., Kwon, S. H., Lee, Y., … Chae, K. S. (2016). Positive geotactic behaviors induced by geomagnetic field in Drosophila. Molecular Brain, 9(1). https://doi.org/10.1186/s13041-016-0235-1

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