Adaptation to developmental diet influences the response to selection on age at reproduction in the fruit fly.
ABSTRACT: Experimental evolution (EE) is a powerful tool for addressing how environmental factors influence life-history evolution. While in nature different selection pressures experienced across the lifespan shape life histories, EE studies typically apply selection pressures one at a time. Here, we assess the consequences of adaptation to three different developmental diets in combination with classical selection for early or late reproduction in the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster. We find that the response to each selection pressure is similar to that observed when they are applied independently, but the overall magnitude of the response depends on the selection regime experienced in the other life stage. For example, adaptation to increased age at reproduction increased lifespan across all diets; however, the extent of the increase was dependent on the dietary selection regime. Similarly, adaptation to a lower calorie developmental diet led to faster development and decreased adult weight, but the magnitude of the response was dependent on the age-at-reproduction selection regime. Given that multiple selection pressures are prevalent in nature, our findings suggest that trade-offs should be considered not only among traits within an organism, but also among adaptive responses to different-sometimes conflicting-selection pressures, including across life stages.
Project description:AbstractReproduction and diet are two major factors controlling the physiology of aging and life history, but how they interact to affect the evolution of longevity is unknown. Moreover, although studies of large?effect mutants suggest an important role of nutrient sensing pathways in regulating aging, the genetic basis of evolutionary changes in lifespan remains poorly understood. To address these questions, we analyzed the genomes of experimentally evolved Drosophila melanogaster populations subjected to a factorial combination of two selection regimes: reproductive age (early versus postponed), and diet during the larval stage (“low,” “control,” “high”), resulting in six treatment combinations with four replicate populations each. Selection on reproductive age consistently affected lifespan, with flies from the postponed reproduction regime having evolved a longer lifespan. In contrast, larval diet affected lifespan only in early?reproducing populations: flies adapted to the “low” diet lived longer than those adapted to control diet. Here, we find genomic evidence for strong independent evolutionary responses to either selection regime, as well as loci that diverged in response to both regimes, thus representing genomic interactions between the two. Overall, we find that the genomic basis of longevity is largely independent of dietary adaptation. Differentiated loci were not enriched for “canonical” longevity genes, suggesting that naturally occurring genic targets of selection for longevity differ qualitatively from variants found in mutant screens. Comparing our candidate loci to those from other “evolve and resequence” studies of longevity demonstrated significant overlap among independent experiments. This suggests that the evolution of longevity, despite its presumed complex and polygenic nature, might be to some extent convergent and predictable.
Project description:The oxidative stress theory predicts that the accumulation of oxidative damage causes aging. More generally, oxidative damage could be a cost of reproduction that reduces survival. Both of these hypotheses have mixed empirical support. To better understand the life-history consequences of oxidative damage, we fed male and female Australian field crickets (Teleogryllus commodus) four diets differing in their protein and carbohydrate content, which have sex-specific effects on reproductive effort and lifespan. We supplemented half of these crickets with the vitamin E isoform DL-alpha-tocopherol and measured the effects of nutrient intake on lifespan, reproduction, oxidative damage and antioxidant protection. We found a clear trade-off between reproductive effort and lifespan in females but not in males. In direct contrast to the oxidative stress theory, crickets fed diets that improved their lifespan had high levels of oxidative damage to proteins. Supplementation with DL-alpha-tocopherol did not significantly improve lifespan or reproductive effort. However, males fed diets that increased their reproductive investment experienced high oxidative damage to proteins. While this suggests that male reproductive effort could elevate oxidative damage, this was not associated with reduced male survival. Overall, these results provide little evidence that oxidative damage plays a central role in mediating life-history trade-offs in T. commodus.
Project description:Dietary restriction (DR), a reduction in nutrient intake without malnutrition, is the most reproducible way to extend lifespan in a wide range of organisms across the tree of life, yet the evolutionary underpinnings of the DR effect on lifespan are still widely debated. The leading theory suggests that this effect is adaptive and results from reallocation of resources from reproduction to somatic maintenance, in order to survive periods of famine in nature. However, such response would cease to be adaptive when DR is chronic and animals are selected to allocate more resources to reproduction. Nevertheless, chronic DR can also increase the strength of selection resulting in the evolution of more robust genotypes. We evolved Drosophila melanogaster fruit flies on 'DR', 'standard' and 'high' adult diets in replicate populations with overlapping generations. After approximately 25 generations of experimental evolution, male 'DR' flies had higher fitness than males from 'standard' and 'high' populations. Strikingly, this increase in reproductive success did not come at a cost to survival. Our results suggest that sustained DR selects for more robust male genotypes that are overall better in converting resources into energy, which they allocate mostly to reproduction.
Project description:The trade-off between lifespan and reproduction is commonly explained by differential allocation of limited resources. Recent research has shown that the ratio of protein to carbohydrate (P : C) of a fly's diet mediates the lifespan-reproduction trade-off, with higher P : C diets increasing egg production but decreasing lifespan. To test whether this P : C effect is because of changing allocation strategies (Y-model hypothesis) or detrimental effects of protein ingestion on lifespan (lethal protein hypothesis), we measured lifespan and egg production in Queensland fruit flies varying in reproductive status (mated, virgin and sterilized females, virgin males) that were fed one of 18 diets varying in protein and carbohydrate amounts. The Y-model predicts that for sterilized females and for males, which require little protein for reproduction, there will be no effect of P : C ratio on lifespan; the lethal protein hypothesis predicts that the effect of P : C ratio should be similar in all groups. In support of the lethal protein hypothesis, and counter to the Y-model, the P : C ratio of the ingested diets had similar effects for all groups. We conclude that the trade-off between lifespan and reproduction is mediated by the detrimental side-effects of protein ingestion on lifespan.
Project description:The nutritional conditions experienced by a population have a major role in shaping trait evolution in many taxa. Constraints exerted by nutrient limitation or nutrient imbalance can influence the maximal value that fitness components such as reproduction and lifespan attains, and organisms may shift how resources are allocated to different structures and functions in response to changes in nutrition. Whether the phenotypic changes associated with changes in nutrition represent an adaptive response is largely unknown. Further, it is unclear whether the response of fitness components to diet even has the potential to evolve in most systems. In this study, we use an admixed multi-parental population of Drosophila melanogaster reared in three different diet conditions to estimate quantitative genetic parameters for lifespan and fecundity. We find significant genetic variation for both traits in our population and show that lifespan has moderate to high heritabilities within diets. Genetic correlations for lifespan between diets were significantly less than one, demonstrating a strong genotype by diet interaction. These findings demonstrate substantial standing genetic variation in our population that is comparable to natural populations and highlights the potential for adaptation to changing nutritional environments.
Project description:High-protein diets shorten lifespan in many organisms. Is it because protein digestion is energetically costly or because the final products (the amino acids) are harmful? To answer this question while circumventing the life-history trade-off between reproduction and longevity, we fed sterile ant workers on diets based on whole proteins or free amino acids. We found that (i) free amino acids shortened lifespan even more than proteins; (ii) the higher the amino acid-to-carbohydrate ratio, the shorter ants lived and the lower their lipid reserves; (iii) for the same amino acid-to-carbohydrate ratio, ants eating free amino acids had more lipid reserves than those eating whole proteins; and (iv) on whole protein diets, ants seem to regulate food intake by prioritizing sugar, while on free amino acid diets, they seem to prioritize amino acids. To test the effect of the amino acid profile, we tested diets containing proportions of each amino acid that matched the ant's exome; surprisingly, longevity was unaffected by this change. We further tested diets with all amino acids under-represented except one, finding that methionine, serine, threonine and phenylalanine are especially harmful. All together, our results show certain amino acids are key elements behind the high-protein diet reduction in lifespan.
Project description:Maternal age has a negative effect on offspring lifespan in a range of taxa and is hypothesized to influence the evolution of aging. However, the mechanisms of maternal age effects are unknown, and it remains unclear if maternal age alters offspring response to therapeutic interventions to aging. Here, we evaluate maternal age effects on offspring lifespan, reproduction, and the response to caloric restriction, and investigate maternal investment as a source of maternal age effects using the rotifer, Brachionus manjavacas, an aquatic invertebrate. We found that offspring lifespan and fecundity decline with increasing maternal age. Caloric restriction increases lifespan in all offspring, but the magnitude of lifespan extension is greater in the offspring from older mothers. The trade-off between reproduction and lifespan extension under low food conditions expected by life history theory is observed in young-mother offspring, but not in old-mother offspring. Age-related changes in maternal resource allocation to reproduction do not drive changes in offspring fitness or plasticity under caloric restriction in B. manjavacas. Our results suggest that the declines in reproduction in old-mother offspring negate the evolutionary fitness benefits of lifespan extension under caloric restriction.
Project description:The detection, discrimination, and behavioral responses to chemical cues in the environment can have marked effects on organismal survival and reproduction, eliciting attractive or aversive behavior. To gain insight into mechanisms mediating this hedonic valence, we applied thirty generations of divergent artificial selection for Drosophila melanogaster olfactory behavior. We independently selected for positive and negative behavioral responses to two ecologically relevant chemical compounds: 2,3-butanedione and cyclohexanone. We also tested the correlated responses to selection by testing behavioral responses to other odorants and life history traits. Measurements of behavioral responses of the selected lines and unselected controls to additional odorants showed that the mechanisms underlying responses to these odorants are, in some cases, differentially affected by selection regime and generalization of the response to other odorants was only detected in the 2,3-butanedione selection lines. Food consumption and lifespan varied with selection regime and, at times, sex. An analysis of gene expression of both selection regimes identified multiple differentially expressed genes. New genes and genes previously identified in mediating olfactory behavior were identified. In particular, we found functional enrichment of several gene ontology terms, including cell-cell adhesion and sulfur compound metabolic process, the latter including genes belonging to the glutathione S-transferase family. These findings highlight a potential role for glutathione S-transferases in the evolution of hedonic valence to ecologically relevant volatile compounds and set the stage for a detailed investigation into mechanisms by which these genes mediate attraction and aversion.
Project description:Evolutionary adaptation as a response to climate change is expected for fitness-related traits affected by climate and exhibiting genetic variance. Although the relationship between warmer spring temperature and earlier timing of reproduction is well documented, quantifications and predictions of the impact of global warming on natural selection acting on phenology in wild populations remain rare. If global warming affects fitness in a similar way across individuals within a population, or if fitness consequences are independent of phenotypic variation in key-adaptive traits, then no evolutionary response is expected for these traits. Here, we quantified the selection pressures acting on laying date during a 24-year monitoring of blue tits in southern Mediterranean France, a hot spot of climate warming. We explored the temporal fluctuation in annual selection gradients and we determined its temperature-related drivers. We first investigated the month-specific warming since 1970 in our study site and tested its influence on selection pressures, using a model averaging approach. Then, we quantified the selection strength associated with temperature anomalies experienced by the blue tit population. We found that natural selection acting on laying date significantly fluctuated both in magnitude and in sign across years. After identifying a significant warming in spring and summer, we showed that warmer daily maximum temperatures in April were significantly associated with stronger selection pressures for reproductive timing. Our results indicated an increase in the strength of selection by 46% for every +1°C anomaly. Our results confirm the general assumption that recent climate change translates into strong selection favouring earlier breeders in passerine birds. Our findings also suggest that differences in fitness among individuals varying in their breeding phenology increase with climate warming. Such climate-driven influence on the strength of directional selection acting on laying date could favour an adaptive response in this trait, since it is heritable.
Project description:Standard evolutionary theory of ageing predicts weaker purifying selection on genes critical to later life stages. Prolonged post-reproductive lifespan (PPRLS), observed only in a few species like humans, is likely a result of disparate relaxation of purifying selection on survival and reproduction in late life stages. While the exact origin of PPRLS is under debate, many researchers agree on hypotheses like mother-care and grandmother-care, which ascribe PPRLS to investment into future generations-provision to one's descendants to enhance their overall reproductive success. Here, we simulate an agent-based model, which properly accounts for age-specific selection, to examine how different investment strategies affect the strength of purifying selection on survival and reproduction. We observed in the simulations that investment strategies that allow a female individual to remain contributive to its own descendants (infants and adults) at late life stages may lead to differential relaxation of selection on survival and reproduction, and incur the adaptive evolution of PPRLS.