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Locomotion is not influenced by denticle number in larvae of the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster

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Denticles are small projections on the underside of larval fruit flies that are used to grip the substrate while crawling. Previous studies have shown that (i) there is natural variation in denticle number and pattern between Drosophila melanogaster (Meigen, 1830) and several closely related species and (ii) mutations affecting denticle morphology have negative effects on locomotory performance. We hypothesized that there would be a correlation between denticle number and locomotory performance within populations of D. melanogaster. Despite finding considerable variation in denticle number, we found no correlation between denticle number and three measurements of larval locomotion: speed, acceleration, and absolute turning rate.

Les denticules sont de petites excroissances sur la paroi ventrale des larves de la mouche à fruit utilisées pour s'agripper au substrat durant la reptation. Des études antérieures ont montré que (i) il existe des variations naturelles dans le nombre et la répartition des denticules entre Drosophila melanogaster (Meigen, 1830) et d'autres espèces procheset que (ii) les mutations qui affectent la morphologie des denticules ont des effets négatifs sur les performances locomotrices. Notre hypothèse de travail est qu'il y a une corrélation entre le nombre de denticules et les performances locomotrices dans un même population de D. melanogaster. Bien qu'il y ait de nettes variations du nombre de denticules, nous n'avons pas pu démontrer de corrélation entre le nombre et trois descripteurs de la locomotion de la larve : la vitesse, l'accélération et le taux absolu de changement de direction.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: February 1, 2005

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  • Published since 1929, this monthly journal reports on primary research contributed by respected international scientists in the broad field of zoology, including behaviour, biochemistry and physiology, developmental biology, ecology, genetics, morphology and ultrastructure, parasitology and pathology, and systematics and evolution. It also invites experts to submit review articles on topics of current interest.
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