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J Evol Biol. 2011 Jan;24(1):196-205. doi: 10.1111/j.1420-9101.2010.02157.x. Epub 2010 Nov 2.

Analysis of the effects of early nutritional environment on inbreeding depression in Drosophila melanogaster.

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  • 1Department of Biology, Section of Ecology, University of Turku, Turku, Finland. terval@utu.fi


The impact of nutritional deficiencies early in life in determining life-history variation in organisms is well recognized. The negative effects of inbreeding on fitness are also well known. Contrary to studies on vertebrates, studies on invertebrates are not consistent with the observation that inbreeding compromises resistance to parasites and pathogens. In this study, we investigated the effect of early nutrition on the magnitude of inbreeding depression in development time, adult body size and adult resistance to the bacterium Serratia marcescens in Drosophila melanogaster. We found that early nutritional environment had no effect on the magnitude of inbreeding depression in development time or adult body size but may have played a small role in adult resistance to the bacterial infection. Estimates of heritabilities for development time under the poor nutritional environment were larger than those measured under the standard nutritional conditions.

© 2010 The Authors. Journal of Evolutionary Biology © 2010 European Society For Evolutionary Biology.

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