The fruitfly, Drosophila melanogaster, exhibits many of the cardinal features of sleep, yet little is known about the neural circuits governing its sleep. Here we have performed a screen of GAL4 lines expressing a temperature-sensitive synaptic blocker shibirets1 (ref. 2) in a range of discrete neural circuits, and assayed the amount of sleep at different temperatures. We identified three short-sleep lines at the restrictive temperature with shared expression in the mushroom bodies, a neural locus central to learning and memory. Chemical ablation of the mushroom bodies also resulted in reduced sleep. These studies highlight a central role for the mushroom bodies in sleep regulation.
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