Email updates

Keep up to date with the latest news and content from BMC Research Notes and BioMed Central.

Open Access Short Report

Lipid profiles of female and male Drosophila

Michael Parisi12, Renhua Li2 and Brian Oliver2*

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Biology, University of Pennsylvania, 415 South University Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19104, USA

2 Section of Developmental Genomics, Laboratory of Cellular and Developmental Biology, National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, National Institutes of Health, Department of Health and Human Services, 50 South Drive, Bethesda MD 20892, USA

For all author emails, please log on.

BMC Research Notes 2011, 4:198  doi:10.1186/1756-0500-4-198

Published: 15 June 2011



D. melanogaster is increasingly used as a lipid metabolism model, but the D. melanogaster metabolome is not well studied. A number of studies strongly suggest that lipid metabolism is linked to sexual behavior and gametogenesis.


We determined the levels of 400 different lipids in the non-gonadal soma of D. melanogaster females and males. We found higher levels of saturated cholesterol esters and lysophosphatidylcholine in males, and higher levels of polyunsaturated cholesterol esters in females. We also determined the levels of these lipids in females and males without a germline to determine if the absence of gamete "sinks" for metabolic products, such as yolk and lipid deposits in eggs, altered somatic lipid profiles. We observed little change in lipid profiles between these samples.


Overall lipid compositions are similar between the sexes, although there are differences in saturation states of two lipid classes, where saturated fatty acids were male-biased and polyunsaturated fatty acids were female-biased. The presence of a germline did not significantly influence lipid profiles, raising the possibility that germline-dependent changes in metabolic gene expression patterns serve a homeostatic purpose.