Institute Cytology and Genetics

Stress Genetics Laboratory

Head I.Yu.Rauschenbakh, Dr.Biol.Sci., Prof.

Bars show trait values in flies of Drosophila line 147 related to those of line 101 flies. The pattern of trait values in flies of line 147 under normal conditions corresponds to the one of line 101 flies under stress

Bars show trait values under stress related to control

Based on many years of research, a concept for the formation of a neuroendocrine reaction under adverse conditions in Drosophila similar to stress in mammals was proposed. To reveal the role of each component of the stress reaction (SR) in its development and to study its genetic control, a model was developed. Using the model, the research group studied the SR mechanism in larvae and adults of Drosophila. The main links of the SR were shown to be the prothoracotropic hormone, the juvenile hormone (G11) and ecdysteroids (E) in larvae; dopamine, (DA), octopamine (OA), JH, E and the heat-shock response in adults. It was found that JH has a key role in reproduction under stress: a decrease in JH degradation in females capable of giving the SR caused oviposition delay, allowing the population to "wait" until stress ends. The frequency of mutant flies in natural Drosophila populations incapable of the SR was found to be high. A mechanism retaining such flies in populations was suggested. Gene systems controlling the different links of the SR were demonstrated and the mechanism of their action under normal and stress conditions was studied. A hypothesis for the common genetic control of the different links of the SR was proposed. This hypothesis is being verified.