December 30/Obesity, Fitness & Wellness Week -- "Nutrition is known to interact with genotype in human metabolic syndromes, obesity and diabetes, and also in Drosophila metabolism. Plasticity in metabolic responses, such as changes in body fat or blood sugar in response to changes in dietary alterations, may also be affected by genotype," scientists writing in the journal Plos Genetics report.
"Here we show that variants of the foraging (for) gene in Drosophila melanogaster affect the response to food deprivation in a large suite of adult phenotypes by measuring gene by environment interactions (GEI) in a suite of food-related traits. for affects body fat, carbohydrates, food-leaving behavior, metabolite, and gene expression levels in response to food deprivation. This results in broad patterns of metabolic, genomic, and behavioral gene by environment interactions (GEI), in part by interaction with the insulin signaling pathway," wrote C.F. Kent and colleagues, University of Toronto.
The researchers concluded, "Our results show that a single gene that varies in nature can have far reaching effects on behavior and metabolism by acting through multiple other genes and pathways."
Kent and colleagues published their study in Plos Genetics ("The Drosophila foraging Gene Mediates Adult Plasticity and Gene-Environment Interactions in Behaviour, Metabolites, and Gene Expression in Response to Food Deprivation." Plos Genetics, 2009;5(8):609).
Additional information can be obtained by contacting C.F. Kent, University of Toronto Mississauga, Dept. of Biology, Mississauga, ON, Canada.
From the January 4, 2010, Prepared Foods E-dition