Contrasting plasticity in ovariole number induced by a dietary effect of the host plants between cactophilic Drosophila species

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Abstract

© 2016 by the authors; licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.Under the preference-performance hypothesis, natural selection will favor females that choose oviposition sites that optimize the fitness of their offspring. Such a preference-performance relationship may entail important consequences mainly on fitness-related traits. We used the well-characterized cactus-Drosophila system to investigate the reproductive capacity in the pair of sibling species D. buzzatii and D. koepferae reared in two alternative host plants. According to our hypothesis, ovariole number (as a proxy of reproductive capacity) depends on host plant selection. Our results indicate that the capacity of D. buzzatii showed to be mild, only increasing the number of ovarioles by as much as 10% when reared in its preferred host. In contrast, D. koepferae exhibited a similar reproductive capacity across host cacti, even though it showed a preference for its primary host cactus. Our study also revealed that D. buzzatii has a larger genetic variation for phenotypic plasticity than its sibling, although ovariole number did not show clear-cut differences between species. We will discuss the weak preference-performance pattern observed in these cactophilic species in the light of nutritional and toxicological differences found between the natural host plants.

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Peluso, D., Soto, E. M., Kreiman, L., Hasson, E., & Mensch, J. (2016). Contrasting plasticity in ovariole number induced by a dietary effect of the host plants between cactophilic Drosophila species. Insects, 7(2). https://doi.org/10.3390/insects7020021

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