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Reproductive fitness of Drosophila is maximised by optimal developmental temperature
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Zoology, Functional Morphology.ORCID iD: 0001-7815-4868
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Zoology, Functional Morphology. Slovak Academy of Sciences, Slovakia.
2019 (English)In: Journal of Experimental Biology, ISSN 0022-0949, E-ISSN 1477-9145, Vol. 222, no 10, article id 202184Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Whether the character of developmental plasticity is adaptive or non-adaptive has often been a matter of controversy. Although thermal developmental plasticity has been studied in Drosophila for several traits, it is not entirely clear how it affects reproductive fitness. We, therefore, investigated how developmental temperature affects reproductive performance (early fecundity and egg-to-adult viability) of wild-caught Drosophila melanogaster. We have tested competing hypotheses on the character of developmental thermal plasticity using a full factorial design with three developmental and adulthood temperatures within the natural thermal range of this species. To account for potential intraspecific differences, we examined flies from tropical (India) and temperate (Slovakia) climate zones. Our results show that flies from both populations raised at intermediate developmental temperature (25°C) have comparable or higher early fecundity and fertility at all tested adulthood temperatures, while lower (17°C) or higher developmental temperatures (29°C) did not entail any advantage under the tested thermal regimes. Importantly, the superior thermal performance of flies raised at 25°C is apparent even after taking two traits positively associated with reproductive output into account – body size and ovariole number. Thus, in Drosophila melanogaster, development at a given temperature does not necessarily provide any advantage at this thermal environment in terms of reproductive fitness. Our findings strongly support the optimal developmental temperature hypothesis which claims that at different thermal environments the highest fitness is achieved when an organism is raised at its optimal developmental temperature.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2019. Vol. 222, no 10, article id 202184
Keywords [en]
developmental plasticity, acclimation, Drosophila, fecundity, viability, ovariole number, body size
National Category
Zoology
Research subject
Zoological physiology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-168859DOI: 10.1242/jeb.202184ISI: 000469868900018OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-168859DiVA, id: diva2:1315330
Available from: 2019-05-13 Created: 2019-05-13 Last updated: 2019-06-24Bibliographically approved

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