Publication details

FIMTrack: behaviour of Drosophila melanogaster during infection by entomopathogenic nematodes.



Year of publication 2018
Type Conference abstract
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Science

Description Drosophila melanogaster is one of the most widespread model organisms. It is used in various fields of research including genetics, immunology, developmental studies, behaviour and others. For behaviour research a new method called FIMTrack was developed to simplify the collection and processing of locomotor data of Drosophila larvae. The method can be also used for other insect species e.g. Galleria mellonella and Caenorhabditis elegans. It is based on frustrated total internal reflection (FTIR) and allows to observe groups of Drosophila larvae, which are crawling on the surface of a translucent agar gel. Thanks to this method we can easily collect data (movement distance, velocity, area of the larvae, etc.) necessary for evaluation of Drosophila response to various stimuli (heat, light, parasites, etc.). FIMTrack was used to evaluate the behaviour of third instar Drosophila larvae during infection with entomopathogenic nematodes (EPN). We used two different EPN species (Heterorhabditis bacteriophora and Steinernema carpocapsae), because different hunting approaches of these EPN have been described. After application of EPN we observed some differences in Drosophila behaviour, they moved faster trying to avoid the contact with nematodes. They also bent, rolled and twisted more frequently trying to get rid of EPN on their cuticle. When the larvae could choose between a path covered by EPN or control they preferred the safer route without EPN implying they can sense the presence of the pathogen. Larvae can also distinguish between EPN and non-pathogenic nematodes (C. elegans). Thanks to FIMTrack we were able to observe the behaviour patterns of Drosophila larvae with great resolution in real time enabling us to have a very close look at the interaction between larvae as host and their nematodal parasites. This study was supported by grant No. 17-03253S from the Czech Science Foundation, FIMTrack table was purchased with funding from Carl Tryggers Foundation CST 16:474.

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