Tayfun Tumkaya, Stanislav Ott, Adam Claridge-Chang, A systematic review of Drosophila short-term-memory genetics: Meta-analysis reveals robust reproducibility, Neuroscience & Biobehavioral Reviews, Volume 95, 2018, Pages 361-382, ISSN 0149-7634, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.neubiorev.2018.07.016.
Geneticists use olfactory conditioning in Drosophila to identify learning genes; however, little is known about how these genes are integrated into short-term memory (STM) pathways. Here, we investigated the hypothesis that the STM evidence base is weak. We performed systematic review and meta-analysis of the field. Using metrics to quantify variation between discovery articles and follow-up studies, we found that seven genes were both highly replicated, and highly reproducible. However, ∼80% of STM genes have never been replicated. While only a few studies investigated interactions, the reviewed genes could account for >1000% memory. This large summed effect size could indicate irreproducibility, many shared pathways, or that current assay protocols lack the specificity needed to identify core plasticity genes. Mechanistic theories of memory will require the convergence of evidence from system, circuit, cellular, molecular, and genetic experiments; systematic data synthesis is an essential tool for integrated neuroscience.
The authors were supported by grants from the Ministry of Education (grant numbers MOE2013-T2-2-054 and MOE2017-T2-1-089) awarded to ACC. TT was supported by a Singapore International Graduate Award from the A*STAR Graduate Academy. SO was supported by a Khoo Postdoctoral Fellowship from Duke–NUS Medical School. The authors received additional support from Duke–NUS Medical School, a Biomedical Research Council block grant to the Institute of Molecular and Cell Biology, and grants from the A*STAR Joint Council Office (grant numbers 1231AFG030 and 1431AFG120) awarded to ACC.