Archive: Dietary sterol in Drosophila melanogaster: a primer to elucidate temperature acclimation and nutrition

Like other arthropods, Drosophila melanogaster is a sterol auxotroph and uses dietary sterols to build its membranes, lipoproteins and produce molting hormones. Consuming plant foods that supply flies with polyunsaturated fatty acids and phytosterols improves flies survival at low temperatures (Brankatschk et al., 2018). Rapid and robust shotgun quantification of eight major dietary sterols (phyto-, fungi-, and mammalian sterols) in wild-living flies suggested that their dietary preferences follow clear season-dependent pattern: flies consumed more plant food in winter and mostly feed on fungi during summer. Sterol quantification helps to understand how wild-living flies adjust their feeding preferences in response to environmental and ecological challenges and project its impact on agriculture and economy.

Original Publication

Christoph Heier, Oskar Knittelfelder, Harald F Hofbauer, Wolfgang Mende, Ingrid Pörnbacher, Laura Schiller, Gabriele Schoiswohl, Hao Xie, Sebastian Grönke, Andrej Shevchenko, Ronald P Kühnlein
Hormone-sensitive lipase couples intergenerational sterol metabolism to reproductive success.
Elife, 10 Art. No. doi: 10.7554/eLife.63252 (2021) DOI 

Laura Christin Trautenberg, Oskar Knittelfelder, Carla Hofmann, Andrej Shevchenko, Marko Brankatschk, Elodie Prince
How to use the development of individual Drosophila larvae as a metabolic sensor.
J. Insect Physiol., 126 Art. No. 104095 (2020) DOI 

Oskar Knittelfelder, Elodie Prince, Susanne Sales, Eric Fritzsche, Thomas Wöhner, Marko Brankatschk, Andrej Shevchenko
Sterols as dietary markers for Drosophila melanogaster.
Biochim Biophys Acta Mol Cell Biol Lipids, 1865(7) Art. No. 158683 (2020) DOI 

Marko Brankatschk, Theresia Gutmann, Oskar Knittelfelder, Alessandra Palladini, Elodie Prince, Michal Grzybek, Beate Brankatschk, Andrej Shevchenko, Ünal Coskun, Suzanne Eaton
A Temperature-Dependent Switch in Feeding Preference Improves Drosophila Development and Survival in the Cold
Dev Cell, 46(6) 781-793 (2018) DOI


Brankatschk lab

Dr. Oskar Knittelfelder

Contact: clinical.lipidomics(at)