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University of Toronto study demonstrates impact of adversity on early life development
Date:10/25/2012

tions to be studied in just a few months.

The researchers examined two types of fruit flies with variants in the foraging gene (for) known as rovers and sitters because of their different behaviours in the presence of food.

When well fed as larvae, rover adults exhibit darting exploration into open areas as they move about in search of food, while sitters show little of this behaviour. When nutritionally deprived as larvae, both rover and sitter adults exhibit darting exploration. Further, the sitters that faced nutritional adversity in early life displayed a reduction in their ability to reproduce. Rovers exhibited no effect on their reproductive fitness.

"The foraging gene makes an enzyme called PKG, which is found in the fly as well as in most other organisms, including humans. When faced with a nutritionally adverse environment while growing up, the levels of the enzyme dropped in flies," says Sokolowski. "This told us that the foraging gene listens to its environment." Transgenic manipulations of PKG levels altered darting exploration in well fed but not nutritionally deprived flies.

The research team included James Burns, a CIFAR junior fellow in Sokolowski's lab, U of T EEB professor Locke Rowe and EEB post-doctoral fellow Nicolas Svetec, as well as colleagues from the Universitiy of British Columbia and the Universit Paris-Sud. The findings are reported in the paper "Chronic food deprivation in early life affects adult exploratory and fitness traits, in the October 16, 2012 issue of the Proceedings of the Nataional Academy of Science.

The papers in the volume are authored largely by CIFAR researchers, and comprise a multidisciplinary collection of research into fields from molecular genetics, evolutionary biology and neuroscience, to social and behavioural science, epidemiology and social policy as well as the emerging field of epigenetics, which investigates deviations in a gene's ability to produce its product
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Contact: Sean Bettam
s.bettam@utoronto.ca
416-946-7950
University of Toronto
Source:Eurekalert  

Page: 1 2 3

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