Morphometric description of the wandering behavior in drosophila larvae

Aberrant locomotion in Na+ and K+ channel mutants revealed by computer-assisted motion analysis

Jing W. Wang, Andrew Sylwester, Darcy Reed, Daw A N J Wu, David R. Soll, Chun Fang Wu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

61 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Wandering is a simple behavior in Drosophila larvae prior to metamorphosis. Using the Dynamic Image Analysis System (DIAS) initially developed for analyzing amoeboic movements of single cells. we have analyzed videotaped behaviors of Drosophila larvae at the wandering stage. Previous studies show that mutations in the Na+ channel gene paralytic (para) cause paralysis at 29°C, and mutations in the K+ channel β subunit gene Hyperkinetic (Hk) lead to leg-shaking under ether anesthesia. The application of DIAS revealed quantifiable abnormalities in the larval locomotion of both ion channel mutants even under permissive conditions. Analysis of centroid movement indicates that, compared to wild type, both Hk and para larvae crawled at a slower average speed, but at a similar peak instantaneous speed during a contraction cycle Nevertheless, contraction in the body length was greater in mutants, implying a lower efficiency in conversion of muscular contraction to distance translocation. In addition, each mutant produced a characteristic crawling pattern distinct from the wild-type control. The larval crawling pattern was determined by periods of linear locomotion interposed by non-locomotive, "searching and decision-making" episodes, after which the crawling was resumed in a new direction. Our results demonstrate that mutations in single ion channel subunits resulted in Stereotypic modifications in locomotion control and crawling patterns, and that DIAS is a powerful tool in revealing subtle differences in animal behavior and quantifying mutational effects on the interplay of discrete behavioral components.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)231-254
Number of pages24
JournalJournal of Neurogenetics
Volume11
Issue number3-4
StatePublished - 1997
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

Wandering Behavior
Locomotion
Systems Analysis
Drosophila
Larva
Ion Channels
Mutation
Animal Behavior
Muscle Contraction
Paralysis
Ether
Genes
Cell Movement
Leg
Decision Making
Anesthesia

Keywords

  • DIAS
  • Hyperkinetic mutant
  • Insect
  • Paralytic mutant
  • Peristaltic locomotion

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental Biology
  • Genetics
  • Neuroscience(all)

Cite this

Morphometric description of the wandering behavior in drosophila larvae : Aberrant locomotion in Na+ and K+ channel mutants revealed by computer-assisted motion analysis. / Wang, Jing W.; Sylwester, Andrew; Reed, Darcy; Wu, Daw A N J; Soll, David R.; Wu, Chun Fang.

In: Journal of Neurogenetics, Vol. 11, No. 3-4, 1997, p. 231-254.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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