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Drosophila mitotypes determine developmental time in a diet and temperature dependent manner

Towarnicki, Samuel G., Ballard, J. William O.
Journal of insect physiology 2017 v.100 pp. 133-139
Drosophila melanogaster, ambient temperature, diet, foraging, genetic background, geometry, insect physiology, larvae, larval development, mitochondria, mitochondrial DNA, mutation, physiological response
It is well known that specific mitochondrial (mt) DNA mutations can reduce organismal fitness and influence mitochondrial-nuclear interactions. However, determining specific mtDNA mutations that are beneficial has been elusive. In this study, we vary the diet and environmental temperature to study larval development time of two Drosophila melanogaster mitotypes (Alstonville and Dahomey), in two nuclear genetic backgrounds, and investigate developmental differences through weight, feeding rate, and movement. To manipulate the diet, we utilize the nutritional geometric framework to manipulate isocaloric diets of differing macronutrient ratios (1:2 and 1:16 protein: carbohydrate (P:C) ratios) and raise flies at three temperatures (19°C, 23°C and 27°C). Larvae with Dahomey mtDNA develop more slowly than Alstonville when fed the 1:2 P:C diet at all temperatures and developed more quickly when fed the 1:16 P:C diet at 23°C and 27°C. We determined that Dahomey larvae eat more, move less, and weigh more than Alstonville larvae when raised on the 1:16 P:C diet and that these physiological responses are modified by temperature. We suggest that 1 (or more) of 4 mtDNA changes is likely responsible for the observed effects and posit the mtDNA changes moderate a physiological trade-off between consumption and foraging.