2. European Space Research & Technology Center – European Space Agency (ESTEC-ESA) Keplerlaan,12201 AZ Noordwijk, The Netherlands.
3. School of Physics & Astronomy, University of Nottingham, Nottingham NG7 2RD, UK.
4. Coventry University, Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, Coventry, CV1 5FB, United Kingdom.
5. School of Biosciences, University of Nottingham, Sutton Bonington Campus, Loaughborough, LE12 5RD, UK.
6. DESC (Dutch Experiment Support Center), Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery/Oral Pathology, VU University Medical Center & Department of Oral Cell Biology Academic Centre for Dentistry Amsterdam (ACTA), Amsterdam, The Netherlands & MMG0-Lab, ESTEC, European Space Agency (ESA), Noordwijk, The Netherlands.
Genome-wide transcriptional profiling experiments on the International Space Station (ISS) have revealed important alterations in the gene expression of Drosophila. In contrast, simulated microgravity experiments in Earth-based laboratories, where the particular constraints and conditions in orbiting spacecraft are absent, show weaker changes in gene expression. Here we use the "gene expression dynamics inspector" (GEDI) self-organizing maps to investigate the effect of altered gravity on different populations of Drosophila. We employ diamagnetic levitation and different mechanical techniques to generate microgravity and hypergravity and compare the changes in gene expression in these modified environments. In addition to behavioural and reproductive responses detected at the gene expression level, our results also indicate a subtle response of the transcriptome that is finely-tuned to Earth´s gravity.
Keywords: Microgravity, microarray, hypergravity, gene expression, magnetic levitation, RPM, LDC, ground based facilities