Drosophila neurogenetics and behavior lab

Our behavioral genetics fly lab has an array of equipment that allows us to rapidly study behavior, fitness and metabolism. In fact our lab is one the best equipped behavioral fly genetic labs in Europe. This includes Drosophila Activity Monitoring Systems (DAMS, we have 16 systems) used for high-throughput measurements of general activity, sleep/wake behavior, circadian rhythm, as well as being utilized for measuring anxiety and depression-like behavior (e.g. hyper or hypoactivity, startle-response and prepulse inhibition (PPI)). The Locomotory Activity Monitoring System (LAMS, we have 2 systems) that uses the fly’s natural negative geotaxis behavior (flies climb away from gravity) to measure general fitness, this can also be employed to exercise the flies. We have the fly Proboscis and Activity Detector (flyPAD, 2 systems) allows for high-throughput quantification of the different micro-activities that make up feeding behaviour. This apparatus is also used for food preference tests. Another piece of equipment, invented in our lab, is the automated Behavioral Activity Monitoring System (BAMS, we have 1 system) used for high-throughput measurements of thigmotaxis, centrophobism and neophobism, as well as using the flies natural instinct to avoid having anything over their head, in a manner similar to the rodent elevated plus maze to measure anxiety. Furthermore, we have the capability for high-throughput measurements of both triglycerides, carbohydrate levels and gene expression levels (quantitative RT-PCR).