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Title: An electromagnetic field disrupts negative geotaxis in Drosophila via a CRY-dependent pathway
Authors: Fedele, G.
Green, E. W.
Rosato, E.
Kyriacou, Charalambos P.
First Published: 14-Jul-2014
Publisher: Nature Publishing Group: Nature Communications
Citation: Nature Communications, 2014, 5, pp. 4391
Abstract: Many higher animals have evolved the ability to use the Earth's magnetic field, particularly for orientation. Drosophila melanogaster also respond to electromagnetic fields (EMFs), although the reported effects are quite modest. Here we report that negative geotaxis in flies, scored as climbing, is disrupted by a static EMF, and this is mediated by cryptochrome (CRY), the blue-light circadian photoreceptor. CRYs may sense EMFs via formation of radical pairs of electrons requiring photoactivation of flavin adenine dinucleotide (FAD) bound near a triad of Trp residues, but mutation of the terminal Trp in the triad maintains EMF responsiveness in climbing. In contrast, deletion of the CRY C terminus disrupts EMF responses, indicating that it plays an important signalling role. CRY expression in a subset of clock neurons, or the photoreceptors, or the antennae, is sufficient to mediate negative geotaxis and EMF sensitivity. Climbing therefore provides a robust and reliable phenotype for studying EMF responses in Drosophila.
DOI Link: 10.1038/ncomms5391
eISSN: 2041-1723
Version: Publisher Version
Status: Peer-reviewed
Type: Journal Article
Rights: Copyright ©2014 Macmillan Publishers Limited. All rights reserved. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in the credit line; if the material is not included under the Creative Commons license, users will need to obtain permission from the license holder to reproduce the material. To view a copy of this license, visit
Appears in Collections:Published Articles, Dept. of Genetics

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