To examine the mechanism by which insects change their food preferences, a simple method was developed to measure their preferences. By using this method, we demonstrated preference of Drosophila melanogaster larvae of the yw control strain for a food based on soybeans over one based on cornmeal. We then screened for mutant strains with food preferences clearly different from the control yw strain, using the Gene Search collection of P-element insertions (GS strains). Among 380 GS strains screened using an assay plate-containing soybean and corn tastants, we identified one mutant, GS1189 that did not show any preference for either of the foods. Further behavioral assays indicated that the GS1189 larvae could have impaired olfactory and gustatory systems. The fact that the CG33071 gene expression was inactivated by the P-element insertion in the GS1189 strain, and that reversion of this gene completely recovered the normal food preference, indicates that this gene contributes to the control of food preferences in Drosophila larvae.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Insect Science