Journal of Undergraduate Research


gut microbiota, starvation resistance, D. melanogaster


Life Sciences


Plant and Wildlife Sciences


It has already been established that gut microbiota affect starvation resistance, fat (TAG) content, and development in D. melanogaster. Previous studies in this lab have suggested that effects of the microbiome on these traits are correlated, but this prediction has not been explicitly tested. We are specifically interested in identifying individual bacterial genes that may mediate microbial effects on all three host traits. One way to identify genes with causal influence on animal traits is MGWA (Meta Genome-Wide Association). To this end we have measured starvation resistance in D. melanogaster individually associated with a panel of 43 bacterial strains, and saw how similar genes in different genomes had similar effects. These became the “interesting” genes, for which we are in the process of proving causation.