2016 - 19th Annual Steven Galovich Memorial Student Symposium

Presentation Title

Breath Control: Ecdysone Regulates Growth in Response to Hypoxia in Drosophila

Student Presenter(s) and Advisor

Yuqing Zhu, Lake Forest CollegeFollow

Location

Library First Floor

Abstract

In almost all animals, hypoxia during development – a deficiency in physiological levels of oxygen ­– slows growth and reduces final body size. Despite the ubiquity of this phenomenon, however, the developmental mechanisms by which oxygen levels affect growth are largely unknown. In particular, it is unclear whether the response of growth to hypoxia is a result of cell autonomous processes that limit growth due to the metabolic constraints imposed by low oxygen, or a regulated process that is controlled systemically. Here we present compelling evidence that the effect of hypoxia on growth rate is regulated systemically, in the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster. We have previously shown that hypoxia elevates basal levels of ecdysone – a known growth suppressor – during Drosophila larval development. We therefore tested the hypothesis that elevated ecdysone is necessary for growth suppression in hypoxic conditions, by comparing the growth rate of larvae with and without ecdysone in normoxic (21% O2) and hypoxic (10% O2) conditions. Consistent with our hypothesis, we found that loss of ecdysone significantly rescued growth rate in hypoxic conditions. These data indicate that the effects of hypoxia on body size can occur as a programmed inhibition of growth, possibly as a means to respond to low oxygen levels in a controlled and coordinated manner.

Presentation Type

Individual Presentation

Start Date

4-5-2016 2:30 PM

End Date

4-5-2016 3:45 PM

Panel

Trauma Studies of the Brain and Body

Panel Moderator

Siobhan Moroney

Field of Study for Presentation

Biology

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Apr 5th, 2:30 PM Apr 5th, 3:45 PM

Breath Control: Ecdysone Regulates Growth in Response to Hypoxia in Drosophila

Library First Floor

In almost all animals, hypoxia during development – a deficiency in physiological levels of oxygen ­– slows growth and reduces final body size. Despite the ubiquity of this phenomenon, however, the developmental mechanisms by which oxygen levels affect growth are largely unknown. In particular, it is unclear whether the response of growth to hypoxia is a result of cell autonomous processes that limit growth due to the metabolic constraints imposed by low oxygen, or a regulated process that is controlled systemically. Here we present compelling evidence that the effect of hypoxia on growth rate is regulated systemically, in the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster. We have previously shown that hypoxia elevates basal levels of ecdysone – a known growth suppressor – during Drosophila larval development. We therefore tested the hypothesis that elevated ecdysone is necessary for growth suppression in hypoxic conditions, by comparing the growth rate of larvae with and without ecdysone in normoxic (21% O2) and hypoxic (10% O2) conditions. Consistent with our hypothesis, we found that loss of ecdysone significantly rescued growth rate in hypoxic conditions. These data indicate that the effects of hypoxia on body size can occur as a programmed inhibition of growth, possibly as a means to respond to low oxygen levels in a controlled and coordinated manner.