April 29 2015

12:00 LSB 2320

Therese Markow
Laboratorio Nacional de Genomica de la Biodiversidad CINVESTAV-Irapuato and Section of Cell and Developmental Biology, Division of Biological Sciences University of California at San Diego

Drosophila, Diets, and Disease: Using Evolution to Understand Metabolism


There are several thousand species of Drosophila and they utilize a wide range of breeding sites. Best known is the model organism D. melanogaster, which breeds in decaying fruits of many types. Better known for its contributions to ecological and evolutionary genetics is D. mojavensis, endemic to the deserts of Mexico and the Southwestern United States where it has specialized upon necrotic cactus. The two natural diets of these species are very different with respect to relative sugar content.\

The fruits consumed by D. melanogaster are much higher in sugars than are the cacti utilized by D. mojavensis. Thus the former can be considered to be adapted to a Western Diet while its cactophilic congener is not. My laboratory has been utilizing these differences to examine and compare the fitness and transcriptomic responses of these two species when reared on isocaloric diets high or low in sugars.















































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































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