Williams S, Dew-Budd K, Davis K, Anderson J, Bishop R, Freeman K, Davis D, Bray K, Perkins L, Hubickey J, Reed LK. Metabolomic and Gene Expression Profiles Exhibit Modular Genetic and Dietary Structure Linking Metabolic Syndrome Phenotypes in Drosophila. G3 (Bethesda). 2015 Nov 3;5(12):2817-29. PMID: 26530416; PMCID: PMC4683653.
From the abstract: "Genetic and environmental factors influence complex disease in humans, such as metabolic syndrome, and Drosophila melanogaster serves as an excellent model in which to test these factors experimentally. Here we explore the modularity of endophenotypes with an in-depth reanalysis of a previous study by Reed et al. (2014), where we raised 20 wild-type genetic lines of Drosophila larvae on four diets and measured gross phenotypes of body weight, total sugar, and total triglycerides, as well as the endophenotypes of metabolomic and whole-genome expression profiles. We then perform new gene expression experiments to test for conservation of phenotype-expression correlations across different diets and populations. We find that transcript levels correlated with gross phenotypes were enriched for puparial adhesion, metamorphosis, and central energy metabolism functions. ... This study demonstrates that variation for disease traits within a population is acquired through a multitude of physiological mechanisms, some of which transcend genetic and environmental influences, and others that are specific to an individual's genetic and environmental context."