Journal article

The gram-negative sensing receptor PGRP-LC contributes to grooming induction in Drosophila

Behavioral resistance protects insects from microbial infection. However, signals inducing insect hygiene behavior are still relatively unexplored. Our previous study demonstrated that olfactory signals from microbes enhance insect hygiene behavior, and gustatory signals even induce the behavior. In this paper, we postulated a cross-talk between behavioral resistance and innate immunity. To examine this hypothesis, we employed a previously validated behavioral test to examine the function of taste signals in inducing a grooming reflex in decapitated flies. Microbes, which activate different pattern recognition systems upstream of immune pathways, were applied to see if there was any correlation between microbial perception and grooming reflex. To narrow down candidate elicitors, the grooming induction tests were conducted with highly purified bacterial components. Lastly, the role of DAP-type peptidoglycan in grooming induction was confirmed. Our results demonstrate that cleaning behavior can be triggered through recognition of DAP-type PGN by its receptor PGRP-LC.


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