Skip to main content
Dryad logo

Dietary polyunsaturated fatty acids affect volume and metabolism of Drosophila melanogaster sperm

Citation

Guo, Ruijian; Reinhardt, Klaus (2020), Dietary polyunsaturated fatty acids affect volume and metabolism of Drosophila melanogaster sperm, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.3bk3j9kfc

Abstract

Dietary fatty acids can accumulate in sperm and affect their function in vertebrates. As Drosophila melanogaster shares several pathways of lipid metabolism and shows similar lipid-dependent phenotypes but lacks some hormones that in vertebrates regulate lipid metabolism, there is currently no clear prediction as to how dietary fatty acids affect the sperm of D. melanogaster. We manipulated the amount and identity of dietary polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) in the food of D. melanogaster males (a treatment known to affect membrane fluidity) and measured changes in sperm parameters. We found that i) males reared on food containing PUFA-rich, plant-derived lipids showed a slower increase in sperm volume over male age compared to males reared on yeast-derived lipid food which is richer in saturated fatty acids. ii) The resistance of sperm membrane integrity to osmotic stress was not altered by dietary lipid treatment but iii) food containing yeast-derived lipids induced a 46% higher in-situ rate of production of reactive oxygen species in sperm cells. These findings show that dietary lipids have similar effects on sperm parameters in Drosophila as in vertebrates, affect some, but not all, sperm parameters, and modulate male reproductive ageing. In concert with recent findings of sex-specific seasonal variation of diet choice in the wild, our results suggest a substantial dietary impact on the dynamics of male reproduction in the wild.