Article: article from journal or magazin.
Experimental evolution of olfactory memory in Drosophila melanogaster.
Physiological and Biochemical Zoology
In order to address the nature of genetic variation in learning performance, we investigated the response to classical olfactory conditioning in "high-learning" Drosophila melanogaster lines previously subject to selection for the ability to learn an association between the flavor of an oviposition medium and bitter taste. In a T-maze choice test, the seven high-learning lines were better at avoiding an odor previously associated with aversive mechanical shock than were five unselected "low-learning" lines originating from the same natural population. Thus, the evolved improvement in learning ability of high-learning lines generalized to another aversion learning task involving a different aversive stimulus (shock instead of bitter taste) and a different behavioral context than that used to impose selection. In this olfactory shock task, the high-learning lines showed improvements in the learning rate as well as in two forms of consolidated memory: anesthesia-resistant memory and long-term memory. Thus, genetic variation underlying the experimental evolution of learning performance in the high-learning lines affected several phases of memory formation in the course of olfactory aversive learning. However, the two forms of consolidated memory were negatively correlated among replicate high-learning lines, which is consistent with a recent hypothesis that these two forms of consolidated memory are antagonistic.
Animals, Avoidance Learning/physiology, Drosophila melanogaster/genetics, Drosophila melanogaster/physiology, Evolution, Female, Genetic Variation/physiology, Male, Memory/physiology, Odors, Selection, Genetic
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