Sex Differences in the Effect of Dietary Restriction on Life Span and Mortality Rates in Female and Male Drosophila Melanogaster

Department of Biology, University College London, Darwin Building, Gower Street, London WC1E 6BT, United Kingdom.
The Journals of Gerontology Series A Biological Sciences and Medical Sciences (Impact Factor: 4.98). 02/2004; 59(1):3-9. DOI: 10.1093/gerona/59.1.B3
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Dietary restriction (DR) has been shown to increase life span in taxonomically diverse animal species. In this study we tested for sex differences in the response of life span to graded severity of DR in Drosophila melanogaster. In both sexes, life span peaked at an intermediate food concentration and declined on either side. However, the magnitude of the response and the food concentration that minimized adult mortality differed significantly between the sexes. Female life span peaked at a food concentration 60% of the standard laboratory diet compared to a concentration of 40% for males. Moreover, female flies subject to DR lived up to 60% longer than did starved or fully fed females, whereas males subjected to DR lived only up to 30% longer. Analysis of age-specific mortality rates showed that DR extended life span by decreasing baseline mortality rates in both sexes, and to a greater extent in females. The differences in the response to DR in female and male Drosophila may be due to previously documented sex differences in sensitivity of life span to insulin/insulin-like growth factor-1 signalling or in nutrient/energy demand and allocation/utilization.

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    • "Although individuals of both sexes should respond to nutrient limitation in ways that maximize their lifetime fitness (Collins 1980), males and females have distinct nutritional requirements based on their divergent reproductive roles. To date, only a few studies have examined sex-specific responses to early food limitation (but see Karlsson et al. 1997; Clarebrough et al. 2000; Hunt et al. 2004; Gwynne 2004; Boggs and Freeman 2005; Magwere et al. 2004; Maklakov et al. 2008; Stillwell and Davidowitz 2010). Such sex-specific responses may be especially marked in organisms whose mating systems include nuptial gifts. "
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    ABSTRACT: Animals with complex life cycles respond to early food limitation by altering the way resources are allocated in the adult stage. Response to food limitation should differ between males and females, especially in organisms whose mating systems include nutritional nuptial gifts. In these organisms, males are predicted to keep their allocation to reproduction (sperm and nuptial gift production) constant, while females are predicted to sacrifice allocation to reproduction (egg production) since they can compensate by acquiring nuptial gifts when mating. In this study, we investigated how dietary nitrogen limitation during the larval stage affects sex-specific resource allocation in Pieris rapae butterflies. Also, we tested whether nutrient-limited females increased nuptial gift acqui-sition as a way to compensate for low allocation to reproduction. We found that as predicted females, but not males, sacrifice allocation to reproduction when larval dietary nitrogen is limited. However, females were unable to compensate for this low reproductive allocation by increasing their mating rate to acquire additional gifts. Females reared on low nitrogen diets also reduced wing coloration, a potential signal of female fecundity status. We suggest that female mating frequency is constrained by male mate choice based on females' wing coloration. This study provides new insights into how larval dietary nitro-gen, a key nutritional resource for all herbivores, alters male and female allocation to reproduction as well as to ornamentation.
    Evolutionary Ecology 11/2013; 27(6). DOI:10.1007/s10682-013-9647-x · 2.37 Impact Factor
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    • "The qualitative and quantitative composition of available food has a significant impact on life history traits (Tu & Tatar, 2003; Magwere et al., 2004; Rion & Kawecki, 2007; Lee et al., 2008), including the trade-off between reproduction and longevity. Under a high-quality diet, longevity is likely to be shortened due to the allocation of resources to reproductive activity (Jacob & Evans, 2000; Hunt et al., 2004), whereas under a poor diet, organisms switch to a physiological state geared towards survival at the expense of reproduction (Halliday, 1989; Boggs & Ross, 1993; Zera & Harshman, 2001; Kirkwood, 2002). "
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    Journal of Evolutionary Biology 02/2012; 25(5):873-80. DOI:10.1111/j.1420-9101.2012.02476.x · 3.48 Impact Factor
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    • "The latter was the greatest prolongation of the adult phase in any treatment. Drosophila females also benefit more from dietary restriction (via DD) than males (Magwere et al. 2004; Bross et al. 2005). Males showed a 1.33-fold increase in adult duration on DR24, but a reduction on DR36 (83% of DRC). "
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