Human psychiatric disorders such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder often include adverse behaviors including increased aggressiveness. Individuals with psychiatric disorders often exhibit social withdrawal, which can further increase the probability of conducting a violent act. Here, we used the inbred, sequenced lines of the Drosophila Genetic Reference Panel (DGRP) to investigate the genetic basis of variation inmale aggressive behavior for flies reared in a socialized and socially isolated environment. We identified genetic variation for aggressive behavior, as well as significant genotype-by-social environ- mental interaction (GSEI); i.e., variation among DGRP genotypes in the degree to which social isolation affected aggression. We performed genome-wide association (GWA) analyses to identify genetic variants associated with aggression within each environment. We used genomic prediction to partition genetic variants into gene ontology (GO) terms and constituent genes, and identified GO terms and genes with high prediction accuracies in both social environments and for GSEI. The top predictive GO terms significantly increased the proportion of variance explained, compared to predictionmodels based on all segregating variants.We performed genomic prediction across environments, and identified genes in common between the social environments that turned out to be enriched for genome-wide associated variants. A large proportion of the associated genes have previously been associated with aggressive behavior in Drosophila and mice. Further, many of these genes have human orthologs that have been associated with neurological disorders, indicating partially shared genetic mechanisms underlying aggression in animal models and human psychiatric disorders.
Rohde, P. D., Gartner, B., Ward, K., Sørensen, P., & F C Mackay, T. (2017). Genomic Analysis of Genotype-by-Social Environment Interaction for Drosophila melanogaster Aggressive Behavior. Genetics (Print), 206(4), 1969-1984. https://doi.org/10.1534/genetics.117.200642