Data from: Transcriptome modulation during host shift is driven by secondary metabolites in desert Drosophila
De Panis, Diego N. et al. (2016), Data from: Transcriptome modulation during host shift is driven by secondary metabolites in desert Drosophila, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.55c8q
High-throughput transcriptome studies are breaking new ground to investigate the responses that organisms deploy in alternative environments. Nevertheless, much remains to be understood about the genetic basis of host plant adaptation. Here, we investigate genome-wide expression in the fly Drosophila buzzatii raised in different conditions. This species uses decaying tissues of cactus of the genus Opuntia as primary rearing substrate and secondarily, the necrotic tissues of the columnar cactus Trichocereus terscheckii. The latter constitutes a harmful host, rich in mescaline and other related phenylethylamine alkaloids. We assessed the transcriptomic responses of larvae reared in Opuntia sulphurea and T. terscheckii, with and without the addition of alkaloids extracted from the latter. Whole-genome expression profiles were massively modulated by the rearing environment, mainly by the presence of T. terscheckii alkaloids. Differentially expressed genes were mainly related to detoxification, oxidation–reduction and stress response; however, we also found genes involved in development and neurobiological processes. In conclusion, our study contributes new data onto the role of transcriptional plasticity in response to alternative rearing environments.