Research Repository

See what's under the surface

Suboptimal evolutionary novel environments promote singular altered gravity responses of transcriptome during Drosophila metamorphosis

Herranz, Raul; Larkin, Oliver J.; Hill, Richard J.A.; Lopez-Vidriero, Irene; van Loon, Jack J.W.A.; Medina, F. Javier


Raul Herranz

Oliver J. Larkin

Richard J.A. Hill

Irene Lopez-Vidriero

Jack J.W.A. van Loon

F. Javier Medina



Previous experiments have shown that the reduced gravity aboard the International Space Station (ISS) causes important alterations in Drosophila gene expression. These changes were shown to be intimately linked to environmental space-flight related constraints.


Here, we use an array of different techniques for ground-based simulation of microgravity effects to assess the effect of suboptimal environmental conditions on the gene expression of Drosophila in reduced gravity. A global and integrative analysis, using “gene expression dynamics inspector” (GEDI) self-organizing maps, reveals different degrees in the responses of the transcriptome when using different environmental conditions or microgravity/hypergravity simulation devices. Although the genes that are affected are different in each simulation technique, we find that the same gene ontology groups, including at least one large multigene family related with behavior, stress response or organogenesis, are over represented in each case.


These results suggest that the transcriptome as a whole can be finely tuned to gravity force. In optimum environmental conditions, the alteration of gravity has only mild effects on gene expression but when environmental conditions are far from optimal, the gene expression must be tuned greatly and effects become more robust, probably linked to the lack of experience of organisms exposed to evolutionary novel environments such as a gravitational free one.

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date Jun 27, 2013
Journal BMC Evolutionary Biology
Electronic ISSN 1471-2148
Publisher Humana Press
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 13
Issue June
Article Number 10
Institution Citation Herranz, R., Larkin, O. J., Hill, R. J., Lopez-Vidriero, I., van Loon, J. J., & Medina, F. J. (2013). Suboptimal evolutionary novel environments promote singular altered gravity responses of transcriptome during Drosophila metamorphosis. BMC Evolutionary Biology, 13(June), doi:10.1186/1471-2148-13-133
Keywords Evolutionary genomics, Gene family evolution, Microgravity-hypergravity, Magnetic levitation, Gene expression, Microarray
Publisher URL
Copyright Statement Copyright information regarding this work can be found at the following address:


Downloadable Citations