Skip to main content
Dryad logo

The effects of adaptation to urea on feeding rates and growth in Drosophila larvae

Citation

Mueller, Laurence; Bitner, Kathreen; Rutledge, Grant; Kezos, James (2022), The effects of adaptation to urea on feeding rates and growth in Drosophila larvae, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.7280/D1VT3G

Abstract

A collection of forty populations were used to study the phenotypic adaptation of Drosophila melanogaster larvae to urea laced food. A long-term goal of this research is to map genes responsible for these phenotypes. This mapping requires large numbers of populations. Thus, we studied fifteen populations subjected to direct selection for urea tolerance and five controls. In addition, we studied another twenty populations which had not been exposed to urea but were subjected to stress or demographic selection. In this study we describe the differentiation in these population for six phenotypes: (1) larval feeding rates, (2) larval viability in urea laced food, (3) larval development time in urea laced food, (4) adult starvation times, (5) adult desiccation times and (6) larval growth rates. No significant differences were observed for desiccation resistance. The demographically/stress selected populations had longer times to starvation than urea selected populations. The urea adapted populations showed elevated survival and reduced development time in urea laced food relative the control and non-adapted populations. The urea adapted populations also showed reduced larval feeding rates relative to controls. We show that there is a strong linear relationship between feeding rates and growth rates at the same larval ages feeding rates were measured. This suggests that feeding rates are correlated with food intake and growth. This relationship between larval feeding rates, food consumption, and efficiency has been postulated to involve important trade-offs that govern larval evolution in stressful environments. Our results support the idea that energy allocation is a central organizing theme in adaptive evolution.

Methods

Multiple phenotypes on Drosophila larvae and adults were collected. These included, larval feeding rates, asult desiccation resistance, adult starvation resistance, egg-to-adult viability in control food and urea laced food, egg-to-adult development time in control food and urea laced food and larval growth rates.