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Nutrition - Physiology

Experimental Evidence for Nutrition Regulated Stress Resistance in Drosophila ananassae
Published: Monday, October 01, 2012
Author: Seema Sisodia et al.

by Seema Sisodia, Bashisth N. Singh


The amount and quality of nutrients consumed by organisms have a strong impact on stress resistance, life-history traits and reproduction. The balance between energy acquisition and expenditure is crucial to the survival and reproductive success of animals. The ability of organisms to adjust their development, physiology or behavior in response to environmental conditions, called phenotypic plasticity, is a defining property of life. One of the most familiar and important examples of phenotypic plasticity is the response of stress tolerance and reproduction to changes in developmental nutrition. Larval nutrition may affect a range of different life-history traits as well as responses to environmental stress in adult.

Principal Findings

Here we investigate the effect of larval nutrition on desiccation, starvation, chill-coma recovery, heat resistance as well as egg to adult viability, egg production and ovariole number in Drosophila ananassae. We raised larvae on either protein rich diet or carbohydrate rich diet. We found that flies consuming protein rich diet have higher desiccation and heat shock resistance whereas flies developed on carbohydrate rich diet have higher starvation and cold resistance. Egg production was higher in females developed on protein rich diet and we also found trade-off between egg production and Egg to adult viability of the flies. Viability was higher in carbohydrate rich diet. However, sex specific viability was found in different nutritional regimes. Higher Egg production might be due to higher ovariole number in females of protein rich diet.


Thus, Drosophila ananassae adapts different stress tolerance and life-history strategies according to the quality of the available diet, which are correlated with phenotypic adjustment at anatomical and physiological levels.