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Nat Commun. 2015 Dec 11;6:10115. doi: 10.1038/ncomms10115.

The genetic basis of natural variation in mushroom body size in Drosophila melanogaster.

Author information

1
KU Leuven-University of Leuven, Department of Human Genetics, Laboratory of Behavioral and Developmental Genetics, B-3000 Leuven, Belgium.
2
VIB Center for the Biology of Disease, B-3000 Leuven, Belgium.
3
Department of Biological Sciences, Program in Genetics and W. M. Keck Center for Behavioral Biology, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, North Carolina, 27695-7614, USA.

Abstract

Genetic variation in brain size may provide the basis for the evolution of the brain and complex behaviours. The genetic substrate and the selective pressures acting on brain size are poorly understood. Here we use the Drosophila Genetic Reference Panel to map polymorphic variants affecting natural variation in mushroom body morphology. We identify 139 genes and 39 transcription factors and confirm effects on development and adult plasticity. We show correlations between morphology and aggression, sleep and lifespan. We propose that natural variation in adult brain size is controlled by interaction of the environment with gene networks controlling development and plasticity.

PMID:
26656654
PMCID:
PMC4682101
DOI:
10.1038/ncomms10115
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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