The Digestive Tract of Drosophila melanogaster
The digestive tract plays a central role in the digestion and absorption of nutrients. Far from being a passive tube, it provides the first line of defense against pathogens and maintains energy homeostasis by exchanging neuronal and endocrine signals with other organs. Historically neglected, the gut of the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster has recently come to the forefront of Drosophila research. Areas as diverse as stem cell biology, neurobiology, metabolism, and immunity are benefitting from the ability to study the genetics of development, growth regulation, and physiology in the same organ. In this review, we summarize our knowledge of the Drosophila digestive tract, with an emphasis on the adult midgut and its functional underpinnings.