Discipline: Biological Sciences
Subcategory: Physiology and Health
Room: Exhibit Hall
Kamora Payne - Fort Valley State University
Co-Author(s): Allen Gibbs, Department of Biological Sciences, University of Nevada Las Vegas, Las Vegas, NV 89154-4004
Obesity has been an increasing problem in America for decades. As of 2022, “IBISWorld estimates that the obesity rate among adults aged 18 and older has increased an annualized 1.8% to 33.0 people per 100 individuals.” There are many entities that contribute to fat storage, but there are over 1,000 genes that contribute to obesity. Drosophila melanogaster fruit flies have identical lipid metabolism pathways to humans, so they are commonly used as model organisms for obesity research. Due to their small size and minimal requirements, many flies can be raised and tested within a small laboratory that does not have access to time, space, or funding. We used Starvation Selected Populations (SS) of fruit flies to study how diet affects lipid storage. These flies are bigger in size because starvation selection leads to higher lipid storage to survive starvation longer. The objective of this research is to observe 1) whether changing larvae diets; including High Yeast (HY), High Sugar (HS), and Medium (M) diets, can changes the starting fat for adults, 2) does the fat content remain constant as they age, or does it converge to a set point after being put on a normal diet? We kept statistics of the triglyceride and protein content in homogenized female flies for different ages to calculate the value of fat content. We measured lipid content to calculate the micrograms of fat and measured the protein content to compare the sizes of the flies over a 14-day period. During a two-month period, we retrieved data for the female HY and HS diet flies for SS and Fed Controlled flies (FC), and male, and female starvation survival experiments for flies on each diet. In the survival experiment, the female flies survived the longest and both genders of flies on HS diets survived the longest. After measuring fat content for flies up to 14 days old, by day 2, the FC HS and HY diet flies’ fat content came to the same level by day 2 and the SS flies came out to the same level by day 8. This concludes that there is a genetically determined set point for fat content in flies, but this can be changed by changing the diet. We also observed that female flies that store more fat (HS diets, and SSP flies) survive starvation longer, resulting that obesity is greatly influenced by diet from birth. This indicates that human who starves themselves to lose weight will store more fat rather than lose fat; therefore, starving is an ineffective way to lose fat. References: Hardy, C.M., et. Al., (2015). Obesity-associated cardiac dysfunction in starvation elected D. melanogaster. American Journal of Physiology-Regulatory, Integrative and Comparative 309: R658-R667. Hardy, C.M., M.K. Burke, L.J. et al., (2018). Genome-wide analysis of starvation-selected Drosophila melanogaster – a genetic model of obesity. Molecular Biology and Evolution 35: 50-65. Jacobs, P.E., A.A. Caplan and A.G. Gibbs (2015). Effects of altered diets on development and energy content of D. melanogaster. SUR Symposium at UNLV.
Funder Acknowledgement(s): Dr. Kurt Regner, NSF REU Site PI; Dr. Eduardo Robleto, Professor, School of Life Sciences for their support and encouragement during the research internship. The author would like to thank Dr. Sarwan Dhir to provide financial support from NSF HBCU-UP (HRD-2011903), S-STEM (DUE-1834046), and the Department of Education MSEIP (P120A2000016).
Faculty Advisor: Dr. Sarwan Dhir, firstname.lastname@example.org
Role: I separated male and female flies and fed flies. I made each fly food diet. I homogenized female flies and ran Triglyceride and Protein Assays for 8 samples of each diet and age in a 96 well plate using the Gen5 data analysis application. I input data into a preexisting excel template for the assays. I conducted the Starvation Survival experiment with male an female flies for each diet. I input daily desecration data into a preexisting excel template. I logged daily experimental methods in Allen Gibbs' Lab notebook.