Data from: The Drosophila Genetic Reference Panel (DGRP) on locomotor activity across different environmental conditions

  • Natasja Krog Noe (Ophavsperson)
  • Palle Duun Rohde (Ophavsperson)
  • Peter Sørensen (Ophavsperson)
  • Torsten Nygaard Kristensen (Ophavsperson)



In nature, organisms are exposed to variable and occasionally stressful environmental conditions. Responses to diurnal and seasonal fluctuations, such as temperature and food accessibility, involve adaptive behavioral and physiological changes. While much work has been done on understanding the genetic architecture and evolutionary potential of stress tolerance traits under constant thermal conditions, there has been less focus on the quantitative genetic background in variable environments. In this study, we use the Drosophila Genetic Reference Panel (DGRP) to investigate locomotor activity, a key behavioral trait, under variable natural thermal conditions during the summer in a temperate environment. Male flies from 100 DGRP lines were exposed to natural thermal and light conditions in Drosophila activity monitors across three experimental days. We found that activity was highly temperature- and time-dependent and varied between lines both within and between days. Further, we observed variation in genetic and environmental variance components, with low to moderate estimates of the heritability for locomotor activity, consistently peaking in the afternoons. Moreover, we showed that the estimated genetic correlations of locomotor activity between two time points decreased as the absolute differences in ambient temperature was increased. In conclusion, we find that the genetic background for locomotor activity is environment specific and we conclude that more variable and unpredictable future temperatures will likely have a strong impact on the evolutionary trajectories of behavioral traits in ectotherms.
Dato for tilgængelighed14 feb. 2024