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Nat Methods. 2009 Jun;6(6):451-7. doi: 10.1038/nmeth.1328. Epub 2009 May 3.

High-throughput ethomics in large groups of Drosophila.

Author information

1
California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, California, USA.

Abstract

We present a camera-based method for automatically quantifying the individual and social behaviors of fruit flies, Drosophila melanogaster, interacting in a planar arena. Our system includes machine-vision algorithms that accurately track many individuals without swapping identities and classification algorithms that detect behaviors. The data may be represented as an ethogram that plots the time course of behaviors exhibited by each fly or as a vector that concisely captures the statistical properties of all behaviors displayed in a given period. We found that behavioral differences between individuals were consistent over time and were sufficient to accurately predict gender and genotype. In addition, we found that the relative positions of flies during social interactions vary according to gender, genotype and social environment. We expect that our software, which permits high-throughput screening, will complement existing molecular methods available in Drosophila, facilitating new investigations into the genetic and cellular basis of behavior.

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PMID:
19412169
PMCID:
PMC2734963
DOI:
10.1038/nmeth.1328
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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