Geographic variation in sleep and metabolic function is associated with latitude and temperature Institutional Repository Document uri icon


  • ABSTRACTRegulation of sleep and metabolic homeostasis are critical to an animals survival and under stringent evolutionary pressure. Animals display remarkable diversity in sleep and metabolic phenotypes; however, an understanding of the ecological forces that select for, and maintain, these phenotypic differences remain poorly understood. The fruit fly,Drosophila melanogaster, is a powerful model for investigating the genetic regulation of sleep and metabolic function, and screening in inbred fly lines has led to the identification of novel genetic regulators of sleep. Nevertheless, little is known about the contributions of naturally occurring genetic differences to sleep, metabolic phenotypes, and their relationship with geographic or environmental gradients. Here, we quantified sleep and metabolic phenotypes in 24D. melanogasterpopulations collected from unique geographic localities. These studies reveal remarkable diversity in sleep, starvation resistance, and energy stores. We found that increased sleep duration is strongly associated with proximity to the equator and elevated average annual temperature, suggesting that environmental gradients strongly influence natural variation in sleep. Further, we found variation in metabolic regulation of sleep to be associated with free glucose levels, while starvation resistance associates with glycogen and triglyceride stores. Taken together, these findings reveal robust naturally occurring variation in sleep and metabolic traits inD. melanogasterand suggest that distance from the equator and median temperature is a significant evolutionary factor in sleep regulation and architecture.

altmetric score

  • 2.5

author list (cited authors)

  • Brown, E. B., Torres, J., Bennick, R. A., Rozzo, V., Kerbs, A., DiAngelo, J. R., & Keene, A. C.

citation count

  • 1

complete list of authors

  • Brown, Elizabeth B||Torres, Joshua||Bennick, Ryan A||Rozzo, Valerie||Kerbs, Arianna||DiAngelo, Justin R||Keene, Alex C

Book Title

  • bioRxiv

publication date

  • August 2017