Proceedings of The Physiological Society

Sleep Sleep and Circadian Rhythms (London, UK) (2018) Proc Physiol Soc 42, SA02

Research Symposium

Sleep function and control in Drosophila melanogaster

G. F. Gilestro1

1. Department of Life Sciences, Imperial College London, London, United Kingdom.


Sleep appears to be a universally conserved phenomenon among the animal kingdom but whether this striking evolutionary conservation underlies a basic vital function is still an open question. Using novel technologies, we conducted an unprecedentedly detailed high-throughput analysis of sleep in the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster, coupled with a life-long chronic and specific sleep restriction. Our results show that some wild-type flies are virtually sleepless in baseline conditions and that complete, forced sleep restriction is not necessarily a lethal treatment in wild-type Drosophila melanogaster. We also show that circadian drive, and not homeostatic regulation, is the main contributor to sleep pressure in flies. We propose a three-partite model framework of sleep function, according to which, total sleep accounts for three components: a vital component, a useful component, and an accessory component.

Where applicable, experiments conform with Society ethical requirements