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The neurogenetics of group behavior in Drosophila melanogaster

Ramdya, Pavan and Schneider, Jonathan and Levine, Joel D. (2017) The neurogenetics of group behavior in Drosophila melanogaster. Journal of Experimental Biology, 220 (1). pp. 35-41. ISSN 0022-0949.

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Organisms rarely act in isolation. Their decisions and movements are often heavily influenced by direct and indirect interactions with conspecifics. For example, we each represent a single node within a social network of family and friends, and an even larger network of strangers. This group membership can affect our opinions and actions. Similarly, when in a crowd, we often coordinate our movements with others like fish in a school, or birds in a flock. Contributions of the group to individual behaviors are observed across a wide variety of taxa but their biological mechanisms remain largely unknown. With the advent of powerful computational tools as well as the unparalleled genetic accessibility and surprisingly rich social life of Drosophila melanogaster, researchers now have a unique opportunity to investigate molecular and neuronal determinants of group behavior. Conserved mechanisms and/or selective pressures in D. melanogaster can likely inform a much wider phylogenetic scale. Here, we highlight two examples to illustrate how quantitative and genetic tools can be combined to uncover mechanisms of two group behaviors in D. melanogaster: social network formation and collective behavior. Lastly, we discuss future challenges towards a full understanding how coordinated brain activity across many individuals gives rise to the behavioral patterns of animal societies.

Item Type:Article
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URLURL TypeDescription
Ramdya, Pavan0000-0001-5425-4610
Additional Information:© 2017 The Company of Biologists Ltd. P.R. was supported by a Swiss National Science Foundation (Schweizerischer Nationalfonds zur Förderung der Wissenschaftlichen Forschung) Fellowship (P300P3_158511); J.S. and J.D.L. acknowledge support from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada and the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research. The authors declare no competing or financial interests.
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF)P300P3_158511
Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR)UNSPECIFIED
Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC)UNSPECIFIED
Canadian Institute for Advanced Research (CIFAR)UNSPECIFIED
Subject Keywords:Drosophila melanogaster, Collective behavior, Group behavior, Neurogenetics, Social networks
Issue or Number:1
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20170117-085050153
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Official Citation:The neurogenetics of group behavior in Drosophila melanogaster Pavan Ramdya, Jonathan Schneider, Joel D. Levine Journal of Experimental Biology 2017 220: 35-41; doi: 10.1242/jeb.141457
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:73516
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:19 Jan 2017 23:34
Last Modified:09 Mar 2020 13:19

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