Evolution of starvation resistance in Drosophila melanogaster: Measurement of direct and correlated responses to artificial selection

T. E. Schwasinger-Schmidt, S. D. Kachman, L. G. Harshman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

25 Scopus citations

Abstract

Laboratory selection for resistance to starvation has been conducted under relatively controlled conditions to investigate direct and correlated responses to artificial selection. With regard to starvation resistance, there are three physiological routes by which the trait can evolve: resource accumulation, energy conservation and starvation tolerance. A majority of energetic compounds and macromolecules including triglycerides, trehalose and other sugars, and soluble protein increased in abundance as a result of selection. Movement was additionally investigated with selected males moving less than control males and selected females exhibiting a similar response to selection. Results obtained from this study supported two of the possible evolutionary mechanisms for adaptation to starvation: energy compound storage and conservation. If the response to selection is based on an evolutionarily conserved pattern of genetic correlations (elevated lipid, elevated sugars and reduced movement), then the response to selection is medically relevant and the genetic architecture should be investigated in depth.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)378-387
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Evolutionary Biology
Volume25
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 2012

Keywords

  • Body composition
  • Drosophila
  • Laboratory selection
  • Movement
  • Starvation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics

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