Stochastic dietary restriction using a Markov-chain feeding protocol elicits complex, life history response in medflies

James R. Carey, Pablo Liedo, Hans Georg Müller, Jane Ling Wang, Ying Zhang, Lawrence Harshman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


Lifespan in individually housed medflies (virgins of both sexes) and daily reproduction for females were studied following one of 12 dietary restriction (DR) treatments in which the availability of high-quality food (yeast-sugar mixture) for each fly was based on a Markov chain feeding scheme - a stochastic dietary regime which specifies that the future dietary state depends only on the present dietary state and not on the path by which the present state was achieved. The stochastic treatments consisted of a combination of one of four values of a 'discovery' parameter and one of three values of a 'persistence' parameter. The results supported the hypotheses that: (i) longevity is extended in most medfly cohorts subject to stochastic DR; and (ii) longevity is more affected by the patch discovery than the patch persistence parameter. One of the main conclusions of the study is that, in combination with the results of earlier dietary restriction studies on the medfly, the results reinforce the concept that the details of the dietary restriction protocols have a profound impact on the sign and magnitude of the longevity extension relative to ad libitum cohorts and that a deeper understanding of the effect of food restriction on longevity is not possible without an understanding of its effect on reproduction.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)31-39
Number of pages9
JournalAging cell
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2005
Externally publishedYes


  • Ad libitum feeding
  • Birth and death rates
  • Life tables
  • Lifespan
  • Longevity
  • Mortality response
  • Reproduction
  • Sex differentials, Tephritidae
  • Unpredictable environments

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aging
  • Cell Biology


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