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Nat Genet. 2009 Mar;41(3):371-5. doi: 10.1038/ng.330. Epub 2009 Feb 22.

Co-regulated transcriptional networks contribute to natural genetic variation in Drosophila sleep.

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  • 1Department of Genetics, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, North Carolina 27695, USA.

Abstract

Sleep disorders are common in humans, and sleep loss increases the risk of obesity and diabetes. Studies in Drosophila have revealed molecular pathways and neural tissues regulating sleep; however, genes that maintain genetic variation for sleep in natural populations are unknown. Here, we characterized sleep in 40 wild-derived Drosophila lines and observed abundant genetic variation in sleep architecture. We associated sleep with genome-wide variation in gene expression to identify candidate genes. We independently confirmed that molecular polymorphisms in Catsup (Catecholamines up) are associated with variation in sleep and that P-element mutations in four candidate genes affect sleep and gene expression. Transcripts associated with sleep grouped into biologically plausible genetically correlated transcriptional modules. We confirmed co-regulated gene expression using P-element mutants. Quantitative genetic analysis of natural phenotypic variation is an efficient method for revealing candidate genes and pathways.

PMID:
19234472
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC2683981
Free PMC Article
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