How Does Starvation Affect Larval Behavior

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Starvation impacts larval behavior as measured in the two-choice assay a) 3rd instar larvae: From previous studies of our lab (Newquist, Novenschi et al. 2016) we learnt that each larval ORN is functionally diverse and each ORN differentially contributes to olfactory behavior in the Drosophila melanogaster larvae. Based on these results, we postulated that individual ORNs might be differentially modulated under starved state conditions. To begin to address this question we started with a panel of seven different odorants from the panel of 19 different odorants published in the study by (Mathew, Martelli et al. 2013). Each of the seven odorants elicits a strong, specific physiological response from a single ORN (Or 47a ::…show more content…
Larvae on each half are counted, RI is calculated using simple equation RI =(S-C)/(S+C) [S denotes number of larvae on the odorant/test side and C denotes number of larvae towards the control side]. The data from this experiment is presented in Figure 1. When tested for odorant acetal, starved larvae showed higher RI when compared to non-starved larvae. In other words, starved larvae have a stronger attractive response towards acetal compared to the non-starved larvae. Next, we looked at the olfactory responses of the remaining six odorants from the panel of seven that were mentioned above. As mentioned in the previous paragraph, starved and non-starved larvae were subjected to the two-choice assay after 2 hours of the starvation protocol. Data collected for all seven different odorants are shown in Figure 2. Of all the seven odorants tested, only three odorants showed significant changes in response indices upon starvation. Acetal (shown in Figure 1), 4, 5-dimethylthiazole, and pentyl acetate were the three odorants that showed higher RI values for starved state larvae when compared to non-starved larvae. In other words, for these three odorants starved larvae had higher attractiveness towards odorants compared to non-starved larvae. This supported our hypothesis that individual ORNs might be differentially modulated by the animal’s starved state. b) 2nd instar larvae: Next, we looked at the olfactory behavior response of 2nd

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