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Evolution. 2006 Jul;60(7):1435-44.

Multitrait evolution in lines of Drosophila melanogaster selected for increased starvation resistance: the role of metabolic rate and implications for the evolution of longevity.

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Section of Evolutionary Biology, Institute of Biology, Leiden University, P.O. Box 9516, 2300 RA Leiden, The Netherlands.


Starvation resistance is a trait often associated with longevity. Animals with increased longevity frequently show elevated starvation resistance and vice versa. Consequently, both life-history traits are thought to share genetic and physiological mechanisms, such as increased fat content and lowered metabolic rate. Here, we present results from 20 generations of selection on Drosophila melanogaster for increased starvation resistance at the time of adult eclosion. We observe that starvation resistance can be the result of more than one mechanism, all associated with an increase in fat resources. In general, metabolic rate is lowered under starved conditions relative to fed conditions. Metabolic rate in the starvation resistant lines is generally higher than in control lines under starved conditions. Starvation resistant flies are able to sustain a higher metabolic rate for a longer period of time when food is unavailable. This implies depletion of the increased fat reserves. However, longevity was not consistently affected by selection for increased starvation resistance. Similarly, paraquat resistance differed between selection lines and did not associate with starvation resistance, but rather with longevity. The results are discussed in relation to previous reported results on starvation resistance and its relation with mechanisms of aging and longevity.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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