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PLoS Genet. 2009 Aug;5(8):e1000609. doi: 10.1371/journal.pgen.1000609. Epub 2009 Aug 21.

The Drosophila foraging gene mediates adult plasticity and gene-environment interactions in behaviour, metabolites, and gene expression in response to food deprivation.

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  • 1Department of Biology, University of Toronto Mississauga, Ontario, Canada.


Nutrition is known to interact with genotype in human metabolic syndromes, obesity, and diabetes, and also in Drosophila metabolism. Plasticity in metabolic responses, such as changes in body fat or blood sugar in response to changes in dietary alterations, may also be affected by genotype. Here we show that variants of the foraging (for) gene in Drosophila melanogaster affect the response to food deprivation in a large suite of adult phenotypes by measuring gene by environment interactions (GEI) in a suite of food-related traits. for affects body fat, carbohydrates, food-leaving behavior, metabolite, and gene expression levels in response to food deprivation. This results in broad patterns of metabolic, genomic, and behavioral gene by environment interactions (GEI), in part by interaction with the insulin signaling pathway. Our results show that a single gene that varies in nature can have far reaching effects on behavior and metabolism by acting through multiple other genes and pathways.

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