Format

Send to

Choose Destination
PLoS Biol. 2017 Apr 25;15(4):e2000862. doi: 10.1371/journal.pbio.2000862. eCollection 2017 Apr.

Commensal bacteria and essential amino acids control food choice behavior and reproduction.

Author information

1
Behavior and Metabolism Laboratory, Champalimaud Neuroscience Programme, Champalimaud Centre for the Unknown, Lisbon, Portugal.
2
School of Biological Sciences, Monash University, Clayton, Victoria, Australia.

Abstract

Choosing the right nutrients to consume is essential to health and wellbeing across species. However, the factors that influence these decisions are poorly understood. This is particularly true for dietary proteins, which are important determinants of lifespan and reproduction. We show that in Drosophila melanogaster, essential amino acids (eAAs) and the concerted action of the commensal bacteria Acetobacter pomorum and Lactobacilli are critical modulators of food choice. Using a chemically defined diet, we show that the absence of any single eAA from the diet is sufficient to elicit specific appetites for amino acid (AA)-rich food. Furthermore, commensal bacteria buffer the animal from the lack of dietary eAAs: both increased yeast appetite and decreased reproduction induced by eAA deprivation are rescued by the presence of commensals. Surprisingly, these effects do not seem to be due to changes in AA titers, suggesting that gut bacteria act through a different mechanism to change behavior and reproduction. Thus, eAAs and commensal bacteria are potent modulators of feeding decisions and reproductive output. This demonstrates how the interaction of specific nutrients with the microbiome can shape behavioral decisions and life history traits.

PMID:
28441450
PMCID:
PMC5404834
DOI:
10.1371/journal.pbio.2000862
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Public Library of Science Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center