Automated rapid iterative negative geotaxis assay and its use in a genetic screen for modifiers of Aβ42-induced locomotor decline in Drosophila


The negative-geotaxis climbing assay is used to efficiently study aging and neurodegeneration in Drosophila. To make it suitable for large-scale study, a method called the rapid iterative negative geotaxis (RING) assay has been established by simultaneously photographing the climbing of multiple groups of flies when they are manually tapped down in test tubes. Here, we automated the assay by using a well-controlled electric motor to drive the tapping, and a homemade program to analyze the climbing height of flies. Using the automated RING (aRING) assay, we found that the climbing ability of a strain of wild-type flies, males in particular, declined rapidly before day 21 after eclosion, but slowly from day 21 to 35. We also found that the expression of arctic mutant Aβ42 accelerated the age-dependent decline in the climbing ability of flies. Moreover, using aRING, we examined the effect of third chromosome deficiencies on the accelerated locomotor decline in Aβ42-expressing flies, and isolated 7 suppressors and 15 enhancers.

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Correspondence to Wen-An Wang or Fu-De Huang.

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Liu, H., Han, M., Li, Q. et al. Automated rapid iterative negative geotaxis assay and its use in a genetic screen for modifiers of Aβ42-induced locomotor decline in Drosophila . Neurosci. Bull. 31, 541–549 (2015) doi:10.1007/s12264-014-1526-0

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  • RING
  • negative geotaxis
  • giant fiber
  • age-dependent
  • locomotor decline
  • Drosophila
  • beta amyloid