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Data from: Adaptation to chronic nutritional stress leads to reduced dependence on microbiota in Drosophila melanogaster

Citation

Erkosar, Berra; Kolly, Sylvain; van der Meer, Jan R.; Kawecki, Tadeusz J. (2018), Data from: Adaptation to chronic nutritional stress leads to reduced dependence on microbiota in Drosophila melanogaster, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.td3r1

Abstract

Numerous studies have shown that animal nutrition is tightly linked to gut microbiota, especially under nutritional stress. In Drosophila melanogaster, microbiota are known to promote juvenile growth, development, and survival on poor diets, mainly through enhanced digestion leading to changes in hormonal signaling. Here, we show that this reliance on microbiota is greatly reduced in replicated Drosophila populations that became genetically adapted to a poor larval diet in the course of over 170 generations of experimental evolution. Protein and polysaccharide digestion in these poor-diet-adapted populations became much less dependent on colonization with microbiota. This was accompanied by changes in expression levels of dFOXO transcription factor, a key regulator of cell growth and survival, and many of its targets. These evolutionary changes in the expression of dFOXO targets to a large degree mimic the response of the same genes to microbiota, suggesting that the evolutionary adaptation to poor diet acted on mechanisms that normally mediate the response to microbiota. Our study suggests that some metazoans have retained the evolutionary potential to adapt their physiology such that association with microbiota may become optional rather than essential.

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