Pervasive behavioral effects of microRNA regulation in Drosophila

Picao-Osorio, Joao, Lago-Baldaia, Ines, Patraquim, Pedro and Alonso, Claudio R (2017) Pervasive behavioral effects of microRNA regulation in Drosophila. Genetics, 206 (3). pp. 1535-1548. ISSN 0016-6731

[img] PDF - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution.

Download (2MB)


The effects of microRNA (miRNA) regulation on the genetic programs underlying behavior remain largely unexplored. Despite this, recent work in Drosophila shows that mutation of a single miRNA locus (miR-iab4/iab8) affects the capacity of the larva to correct its orientation if turned upside down (self-righting, SR), suggesting that other miRNAs might also be involved in behavioral control. Here we explore this possibility, studying early larval SR behavior in a collection of 81 Drosophila miRNA mutants covering almost the entire miRNA complement of the late embryo. Unexpectedly, we observe that >40% of all miRNAs tested significantly affect SR time, revealing pervasive behavioral effects of miRNA regulation in the early larva. Detailed analyses of those miRNAs affecting SR behavior (SR-miRNAs) show that individual miRNAs can affect movement in different ways, suggesting that specific molecular and cellular elements are affected by individual miRNA mutations. Furthermore, gene expression analysis shows that the Hox gene Abdominal-B (Abd-B) represents one of the targets deregulated by several SR-miRNAs. Our work thus reveals pervasive effects of miRNA regulation on a complex innate behavior in Drosophila and suggests that miRNAs may be core components of the genetic programs underlying behavioral control in other animals too.

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: School of Life Sciences > Neuroscience
Research Centres and Groups: Sussex Neuroscience
Depositing User: Claudio Alonso
Date Deposited: 16 Oct 2017 08:38
Last Modified: 02 Jul 2019 17:46

View download statistics for this item

📧 Request an update
Project NameSussex Project NumberFunderFunder Ref
The molecular regulation of Hox genes during animal developmentG0952WELLCOME TRUST098410/Z/12/Z