Phenotyping of Drosophila Melanogaster-A Nutritional Perspective

The model organism Drosophila melanogaster was increasingly applied in nutrition research in recent years. A range of methods are available for the phenotyping of D. melanogaster, which are outlined in the first part of this review. The methods include determinations of body weight, body composition, food intake, lifespan, locomotor activity, reproductive capacity and stress tolerance. In the second part, the practical application of the phenotyping of flies is demonstrated via a discussion of obese phenotypes in response to high-sugar diet (HSD) and high-fat diet (HFD) feeding. HSD feeding and HFD feeding are dietary interventions that lead to an increase in fat storage and affect carbohydrate-insulin homeostasis, lifespan, locomotor activity, reproductive capacity and stress tolerance. Furthermore, studies regarding the impacts of HSD and HFD on the transcriptome and metabolome of D. melanogaster are important for relating phenotypic changes to underlying molecular mechanisms. Overall, D. melanogaster was demonstrated to be a valuable model organism with which to examine the pathogeneses and underlying molecular mechanisms of common chronic metabolic diseases in a nutritional context.


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