Functional senescence in Drosophila melanogaster

Michael S. Grotewiel, Ian Martin, Poonam Bhandari, Eric Cook-Wiens

Research output: Contribution to journalShort surveypeer-review

223 Scopus citations


The fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster is one of the principal model organisms used for studying the biology of aging. Flies are well suited for such studies for a number of reasons. Flies develop to adulthood quickly, have a relatively short life span, and are inexpensive to house. Most of the fly genome has been sequenced, powerful genetic tools are available to manipulate it, and most fly genes have obvious homologues in mammals. While the majority of aging studies in flies have focused on regulation of life span, the fly is emerging as a powerful model system for investigating the biology that underlies age-related functional decline. Key to the use of flies in this way is the striking number of parallels between functional senescence in Drosophila and humans. Here, we review age-related functional declines in Drosophila, human correlates of these age-related declines, and common mechanisms that influence longevity and specific aspects of functional senescence in flies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)372-397
Number of pages26
JournalAgeing Research Reviews
Issue number3
StatePublished - Aug 2005
Externally publishedYes


  • Aging
  • Behavior
  • Biochemistry
  • Fruit flies
  • Heart
  • Immunity
  • Learning
  • Locomotion
  • Memory
  • Metabolism
  • Negative geotaxis
  • Olfaction
  • Reproduction
  • Review
  • Stress resistance

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Biochemistry
  • Aging
  • Molecular Biology
  • Neurology


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