Volume 7 Supplement 1
cGMP kinase and food-related behaviours
© Sokolowski; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. 2007
Published: 25 July 2007
The repeated incorporation of common gene activities and pathways into diverse behavioural and environmental contexts throughout evolution is similar to findings in developmental biology showing that principle regulators have been co-opted to generate novel patterns . Nevertheless, such genetic systems must be flexible enough to generate adaptive phenotypes in the midst of unique environmental and developmental constraints. For the foraging gene which encodes a cGMP dependent protein kinase (PKG), variation in gene activity has been associated with distinct alleles within populations in some species (e.g. D. melanogaster) and developmental transitions over the life-cycle of single individuals in others (e.g. honeybees  and ants). Here we show that the foraging gene in Drosophila also plays a role in behavioural plasticity within the lifetime of the individual. foraging affects food-related locomotion, food intake, responses to food deprivation, energy homeostasis, sucrose responsiveness  and learning. Recent immunohistochemical analysis of for expression combined with behaviour genetic analysis enables us to begin to draw parallels between PKG function in invetebrates and mammals.
Research supported by the Canadian Institute of Health Research Grant, the Canada Research Chair Program and a National Institute of Health Grant to M.B. Sokolowski.
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This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd.