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Université de Fribourg

A role for genetic accommodation in evolution?

Braendle, Christian ; Flatt, Thoams

In: BioEssays, 2006, no. 28, p. 868-873

Whether evolutionary change can occur by genetic assimilation, or more generally by genetic accommodation, remains controversial. Here we examine some of the experimental evidence for both phenomena. Several experiments in Drosophila suggest that assimilation is possible, and a new paper1 shows that a color polyphenism in the tobacco hornworm, Manduca sexta, can evolve by genetic accommodation....

Université de Fribourg

Evolution of longevity improves immunity in Drosophila

Fabian, Daniel K. ; Garschall, Kathrin ; Klepsatel, Peter ; Santos-Matos, Gonçalo ; Sucena, Élio ; Kapun, Martin ; Lemaitre, Bruno ; Schlötterer, Christian ; Arking, Robert ; Flatt, Thomas

In: Evolution Letters, 2018, vol. 2, no. 6, p. 567–579

Much has been learned about the genetics of aging from studies in model organisms, but still little is known about naturally occurring alleles that contribute to variation in longevity. For example, analysis of mutants and transgenes has identified insulin signaling as a major regulator of longevity, yet whether standing variation in this pathway underlies microevolutionary changes in...

Université de Fribourg

Plasticity in the Drosophila larval visual system

Farca-Luna, Abud J. ; Sprecher, Simon G.

In: Frontiers in Cellular Neuroscience, 2013, vol. 7, p. 105

The remarkable ability of the nervous system to modify its structure and function is mostly experience and activity modulated. The molecular basis of neuronal plasticity has been studied in higher behavioral processes, such as learning and memory formation. However, neuronal plasticity is not restricted to higher brain functions and it may provide a basic feature of adaptation of all neural...

Université de Fribourg

Diet and longevity in the balance

Flatt, Thomas

In: Nature, 2009, vol. 462, no. 24, p. 989-990

Dietary restriction promotes longevity but impairs fecundity in many organisms. When the amino acids in a diet are fine-tuned, however, lifespan can be increased without loss of fecundity — at least in fruitflies.

Université de Fribourg

Hormonal regulation of the humoral innate immune response in Drosophila melanogaster

Flatt, Thomas ; Heyland, Andreas ; Rus, Florentina ; Porpiglia, Ermelinda ; Sherlock, Chris ; Yamamoto, Rochele ; Garbuzov, Alina ; Palli, Subba R. ; Tatar, Marc ; Silverman, Neal

In: The Journal of Experimental Biology, 2008, vol. 21, no. 1, p. 2712-2724

Juvenile hormone (JH) and 20-hydroxy-ecdysone (20E) are highly versatile hormones, coordinating development, growth, reproduction and aging in insects. Pulses of 20E provide key signals for initiating developmental and physiological transitions, while JH promotes or inhibits these signals in a stage-specific manner. Previous evidence suggests that JH and 20E might modulate innate immunity, but...

Université de Fribourg

Juvenile hormone as a regulator of the trade-off between reproduction and life span in Drosophila melanogaster

Flatt, Thomas ; Kawecki, Tadeusz J.

In: Evolution, 2007, vol. 61, no. 8, p. 1980–1991

Trade-offs between reproduction and life span are ubiquitous, but little is known about their underlying mechanisms. Here we combine treatment with the juvenile hormone analog (JHa) methoprene and experimental evolution in Drosophila melanogaster to study the potential role of juvenile hormone (JH) in mediating such trade-offs at both the physiological and evolutionary level. Exposure to...

Université de Fribourg

Visual learning in individually assayed Drosophila larvae

Gerber, Bertram ; Scherer, Sabine ; Neuser, K. ; Michels, B. ; Hendel, T. ; Stocker, Reinhard F. ; Heisenberg, M.

In: Journal of Experimental Biology, 2004, vol. 207, p. 179-188

An understanding of associative learning is facilitated if it can be analyzed in a simple animal like the fruit fly Drosophila. Here, we introduce the first visual associative learning paradigm for larval Drosophila; this is remarkable as larvae have an order of magnitude fewer neurons than adult flies. Larvae were subjected to either of two reciprocal training regimes: Light+/Dark- or...

Université de Fribourg

Role of proneural genes in the formation of the larval olfactory organ of Drosophila

Grillenzoni, Nicola ; Vaux, Véronique de ; Meuwly, Jocelyne ; Vuichard, Séverine ; Jarman, Andrew ; Holohan, Eimear ; Gendre, Nanaë ; Stocker, Reinhard F.

In: Development Genes and Evolution, 2007, vol. 217, no. 3, p. 209-219

In this paper, we address the role of proneural genes in the formation of the dorsal organ in the Drosophila larva. This organ is an intricate compound comprising the multineuronal dome—the exclusive larval olfactory organ—and a number of mostly gustatory sensilla. We first determine the numbers of neurons and of the different types of accessory cells in the dorsal organ. From these...