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Nat Protoc. 2006;1(2):559-68.

Analysis of locomotor activity rhythms in Drosophila.

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Department of Genetics, University of Leicester, University Road, Leicester, LE1 7RH, UK.


The genetic, molecular and anatomical dissection of the circadian clock in Drosophila and other higher organisms relies on the quantification of rhythmic phenotypes. Here, we introduce the methods currently in use in our laboratories for the analysis of fly locomotor activity rhythms. This phenotype provides a relatively simple, automated, efficient, reliable and robust output for the circadian clock. Thus it is not surprising that it is the preferred readout for measuring rhythmicity under a variety of conditions for most fly clock laboratories. The procedure requires at least 10 days of data collection and several days for analysis. In this protocol we advise on fly maintenance and on experimental design when studying the genetics of behavioral traits. We describe the setup for studying locomotor activity rhythms in the fruit fly and we introduce the statistical methods in use in our laboratories for the analysis of periodic data.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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