Natural Behavior Polymorphism Due to a cGMP-Dependent Protein Kinase of Drosophila

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Science  08 Aug 1997:
Vol. 277, Issue 5327, pp. 834-836
DOI: 10.1126/science.277.5327.834

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Naturally occuring polymorphisms in behavior are difficult to map genetically and thus are refractory to molecular characterization. An exception is the foraging gene (for), a gene that has two naturally occurring variants in Drosophila melanogaster food-search behavior: rover and sitter. Molecular mapping placed for mutations in the dg2 gene, which encodes a cyclic guanosine monophosphate (cGMP)–dependent protein kinase (PKG). Rovers had higher PKG activity than sitters, and transgenic sitters expressing a dg2 complementary DNA from rover showed transformation of behavior to rover. Thus, PKG levels affected food-search behavior, and natural variation in PKG activity accounted for a behavioral polymorphism.

  • * Present address: Department of Plant Science, University of British Columbia, 2357 Main Mall, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, V6T 1Z4.

  • Present address: Institute of Histology and Embryology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Lisbon, Avenue Professor, Egas Moniz, 1699 Lisboa Codex, Portugal.

  • Present address: The Neurosciences Institute, 10640 John Jay Hopkins Drive, San Diego, CA 92121, USA.

  • § To whom correspondence should be addressed. E-mail: mbsoko{at}

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