The effects of larval diet restriction on developmental time, preadult survival, and wing length in Drosophila melanogaster


Abstract: Environmental stress effects on life history traits have been shown by many studies up to the present. Organisms are frequently affected by nutritional stress in nature. Nutritional restriction has been used as an artificial environmental stress by scientists since 1935. As a result of such studies, it is known that nutritional intake during developmental stages can affect many life history traits as a response to environmental stress in Drosophila melanogaster. In this study, we used 15 different diet regimes with variable yeast and sugar concentrations to test the effects of dietary changes on viability, developmental time, and wing size. Our data showed no specific relationship between yeast-sugar concentrations and larva-to-pupa or larva-to-adult viability. However, over 90% of all larvae that achieved the pupal stage could develop to the adult stage. As expected, the developmental time was moderately affected with respect to yeast-sugar concentrations and their interactions. In addition, the developmental time was extended with decreases in yeast and sugar concentrations. When calculating the pupation and larval times, we came up with the result that longer larval developmental time was buffered under restricted conditions by a shorter pupation period. In other words, dietary stress extended the larval development period and shortened the pupation period to make up for the developmental time delay. Our study indicated that sugar-free larval nutrition reduced the common positive effects between nutrition and body size. Measurement of wing lengths presented sex-specific fluctuations with increased sugar concentration, which showed variable interaction with yeast concentration.

Keywords: Larval nutrition, wing size, developmental time, viability, Drosophila melanogaster

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