The Drosophila microbiome has a limited influence on sleep, activity, and courtship behaviors
Reference: Scientific Reports (2018) 8: 10646-10646

In animals, commensal microbes modulate various physiological functions, including behavior. While microbiota exposure is required for normal behaviour in mammals, it is not known how widely this dependency is present in other animal species. We proposed the hypothesis that the microbiome has a major influence on the behavior of the vinegar fly (Drosophila melanogaster), a major invertebrate model organism. Several assays were used to test the contribution of the microbiome on some well-characterised behaviours: defensive behaviour, sleep, locomotion, and courtship in microbe-bearing, control flies and two generations of germ-free animals. None of the behaviours were largely influenced by the absence of a microbiome, and the small or moderate effects were not generalisable between replicates and/or generations. These results refute the hypothesis, indicating that the Drosophila microbiome does not have a major influence over several behaviors fundamental to the animal's survival and reproduction. The impact of commensal microbes on animal behaviour may not be broadly conserved.

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Published By
Selkrig J., Mohammad F., Ng S. H., Chua J. Y., Tumkaya T., Ho J., Chiang Y. N., Rieger D., Pettersson S., , Helfrich-Förster C., Yew J. Y.