© 2017 Kouloussis, Damos, Ioannou, Tsitsoulas, Papadopoulos, Nestel and Koveos. In the inquiry on the age related dietary assessment of an organism, knowledge of the distributional patterns of food intake throughout the entire life span is very important, however, age related nutritional studies often lack robust feeding quantification methods due to their limitations in obtaining short-term food-intake measurements. In this study, we developed and standardized a capillary method allowing precise life-time measurements of food consumption by individual adult medflies, Ceratitis capitata (Diptera: Tephritidae), under laboratory conditions. Protein or sugar solutions were offered via capillaries to individual adults for a 5 h interval daily and their consumption was measured, while individuals had lifetime ad libitum access to sugar or protein, respectively, in solid form. Daily egg production was also measured. The multivariate data-set (i.e., the age-dependent variations in the amount of sugar and protein ingestion and their relation to egg production) was analyzed using event history charts and 3D interpolation models. Maximum sugar intake was recorded early in adult life; afterwards, ingestion progressively dropped. On the other hand, maximum levels of protein intake were observed at mid-ages; consumption during early and late adult ages was kept at constant levels. During the first 30 days of age, type of diet and sex significantly contributed to the observed difference in diet intake while number of laid eggs varied independently. Male and female adult longevity was differentially affected by diet: protein ingestion extended the lifespan, especially, of males. Smooth surface models revealed a significant relationship between the age dependent dietary intake and reproduction. Both sugar and protein related egg-production have a bell-shaped relationship, and the association between protein and egg-production is better described by a 3D Lorenzian function. Additionally, the proposed 3D interpolation models produced good estimates of egg production and diet intake as affected by age, providing us with a reliable multivariate analytical tool to model nutritional trends in insects, and other organisms, and their effect upon life history traits. The modeling also strengthened the knowledge that egg production is closely related to protein consumption, as suggested by the shape of the medfly reproduction-response function and its functional relationship to diet intake and age.
Kouloussis, N. A., Damos, P. T., Ioannou, C. S., Tsitsoulas, C., Papadopoulos, N. T., Nestel, D., & Koveos, D. S. (2017). Age related assessment of sugar and protein intake of Ceratitis capitata in ad libitum conditions and modeling its relation to reproduction. Frontiers in Physiology, 8(MAY). https://doi.org/10.3389/fphys.2017.00271