Article

Quantitative genetic analysis of sleep in Drosophila melanogaster.

Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Department of Neuroscience, School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19104, USA.
Genetics (Impact Factor: 4.87). 05/2008; 178(4):2341-60. DOI: 10.1534/genetics.107.081232
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Although intensively studied, the biological purpose of sleep is not known. To identify candidate genes affecting sleep, we assayed 136 isogenic P-element insertion lines of Drosophila melanogaster. Since sleep has been negatively correlated with energy reserves across taxa, we measured energy stores (whole-body protein, glycogen, and triglycerides) in these lines as well. Twenty-one insertions with known effects on physiology, development, and behavior affect 24-hr sleep time. Thirty-two candidate insertions significantly impact energy stores. Mutational genetic correlations among sleep parameters revealed that the genetic basis of the transition between sleep and waking states in males and females may be different. Furthermore, sleep bout number can be decoupled from waking activity in males, but not in females. Significant genetic correlations are present between sleep phenotypes and glycogen stores in males, while sleep phenotypes are correlated with triglycerides in females. Differences observed in male and female sleep behavior in flies may therefore be related to sex-specific differences in metabolic needs. Sleep thus emerges as a complex trait that exhibits extensive pleiotropy and sex specificity. The large mutational target that we observed implicates genes functioning in a variety of biological processes, suggesting that sleep may serve a number of different functions rather than a single purpose.

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