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The genetic and social contributions to sex differences in lifespan in Drosophila serrata

Citation

Narayan, Vikram P.; Wilson, Alastair J.; Chenoweth, Stephen F. (2022), The genetic and social contributions to sex differences in lifespan in Drosophila serrata, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.jdfn2z3cq

Abstract

Sex differences in lifespan remain an intriguing puzzle in evolutionary biology. While explanations range from sex differences in selection to sex differences in the expression of recessive lifespan-altering mutations (via X-linkage), little consensus has been reached. One unresolved issue is the extent to which genetic influences on lifespan dimorphism are modulated by the environment. For example, studies have shown that sex-differences in lifespan can either increase or decrease depending upon the social environment. Here we took an experimental approach, manipulating multiple axes of social environment across inbred long- and short-lived genotypes and their reciprocal F1s in the fly Drosophila serrata. Our results reveal strong genetic effects and subtle yet significant genotype-by-environment interactions for male and female lifespan, specifically due to both population density and mating status.  Further, our data do not support the idea that unconditional expression of deleterious X-linked recessive alleles in heterogametic males accounts for lower male lifespan.

Funding