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Phototactic choices of Drosophila melanogaster

Cite this dataset

Krams, Indrikis et al. (2021). Phototactic choices of Drosophila melanogaster [Dataset]. Dryad.


When organisms' environmental conditions vary unpredictably in time, it can be advantageous for individuals to hedge their phenotypic bets. It has been shown that a bet-hedging strategy underlies the high inter-individual diversity of phototactic choice in Drosophila melanogaster. This study shows that fruit flies from a population living in a boreal and relatively unpredictable climate had more variable phototactic choices than fruit flies from a more stable tropical climate, consistent with bet-hedging theory. We experimentally show that phototactic variability of D. melanogaster is regulated by the neurotransmitter serotonin (5-HT), which acts as a suppressor of the variability of phototactic choices. When fed 5-HT precursor, boreal flies exhibited lower variability, and they were insensitive to 5-HT inhibitor. The opposite pattern was seen in the tropical flies. Thus, the reduction of 5-HT in fruit flies' brains may be the mechanistic basis of an adaptive bet-hedging strategy in a less predictable boreal climate.


We used the FlyVac system (Harvard University, Daugavpils University). 


Latvian Council of Science, Award: lzp-2018/1-0393

Latvian Council of Science, Award: lzp-2018/2-00057