Interstrain Variability of Larval Photokinesis in Drosophila melanogaster

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Abstract

Larvae from seven laboratory strains and eight isofemale lines of Drosophila melanogaster differ significantly with regard to their responses to light in a photokinesis assay in which the larvae are tested en masse. Larvae from the CA-2 laboratory stock fail to disperse on assay plates, although observations of individual CA-2 larvae suggest that the larvae are repelled by light. Larvae from all of the other laboratory stocks and all of the isofemale lines (except LI2 and NC5) avoid light in the photokinesis assay. Larvae from some stocks are much more strongly repelled by light than larvae from other stocks. LI2 larvae are unresponsive to light in most replicates of the photokinesis assay, while NC5 larvae are consistently unresponsive to light. Observations of F1 heterozygotes suggest that the allele(s) that affects the vision of LI2 and NC5 larvae has net effects on the animals' behavior that are partially dominant and recessive, respectively.

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