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Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2009 May 1;382(2):395-9. doi: 10.1016/j.bbrc.2009.03.033. Epub 2009 Mar 12.

Behavioral dissection of Drosophila larval phototaxis.

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State Key Laboratory of Brain and Cognitive Science, Institute of Biophysics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Chaoyang District, Beijing, PR China.


A behavior generally comprises multiple processes. Analyzing these processes helps to reveal more characteristics of the behavior. In this report, light/dark choice-based Drosophila larval phototaxis is analyzed with a simplistic mathematical model to reveal a fast phase and a slow phase response that are involved. Larvae of the strain w(1118), which is photophobic in phototaxis tests, prefer darkness to light in an immediate light/dark boundary passing test and demonstrate a significant reduction in motility in the dark condition during phototaxis tests. For tim(01) larvae, which show neutral performance in phototaxis tests, larvae unexpectedly prefer light to darkness in the immediate light/dark boundary passing test and demonstrate no significant motility alteration in the dark condition. It is proposed that Drosophila larval phototaxis is determined by a fast phase immediate light/dark choice and an independent slow phase light/dark-induced motility alteration that follows.

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