Neuroendocrine control of Drosophila larval light preference

Naoki Yamanaka, Nuria M. Romero, Francisco A. Martin, Kim F. Rewitz, Mu Sun, Michael B. O'Connor, Pierre Léopold

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

84 Scopus citations


Animal development is coupled with innate behaviors that maximize chances of survival. Here, we show that the prothoracicotropic hormone (PTTH), a neuropeptide that controls the developmental transition from juvenile stage to sexual maturation, also regulates light avoidance in Drosophila melanogaster larvae. PTTH, through its receptor Torso, acts on two light sensors - the Bolwig's organ and the peripheral class IV dendritic arborization neurons - to regulate light avoidance. We found that PTTH concomitantly promotes steroidogenesis and light avoidance at the end of larval stage, driving animals toward a darker environment to initiate the immobile maturation phase. Thus, PTTH controls the decisions of when and where animals undergo metamorphosis, optimizing conditions for adult development.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1113-1116
Number of pages4
Issue number6150
StatePublished - Sep 6 2013


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