Roger Garcia, Texas A&M University – Kingsville

Effects of Gut Dysbiosis and Inflammatory Response on Courtship Behavior of Drosophila

Abstract: Past research has established that Drosophila gut inflammation via the dual oxidase (DUOX) regulatory pathway is induced by exposure to bacterial-derived uracil, which can be secreted by allochthonous and autochthonous bacteria in the midgut. However, the effects of the inflammatory response and resulting gut dysbiosis on the behavior and memory of the host Drosophila has yet to be determined. The study observed changes in Drosophila courtship behavior resulting from uracil-induced gut inflammation via utilization of a courtship index (CI). The effects of both acute and chronic uracil-induced gut inflammation on courtship behavior were compared by treatment with 20 nM of uracil for 16 hour and 10-day periods, respectively. It was found that while acute uracil treatment caused no change in courtship behavior, chronic uracil treatment resulted in a significant decrease in CI. This result indicates that the underlying cause for the behavioral change may be due to gut inflammation initiated by exposure to uracil. By observing and identifying the effects of an innate immune response such as DUOX-dependent midgut inflammation on the courtship index of Drosophila, the current understanding of the relationship between gut inflammation and behavioral changes in metazoans can be expanded. Given that prior research has also established that the DUOX-dependent response can be found in metazoans ranging from Drosophila to humans, the behavioral changes observed from induction of the pathway have the potential to be applied to other mammalian organisms in the future.

Presentation Author(s):
Roger Christian Garcia*

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