Fitness and behavioral traits are optimized according to the rearing environment to ensure survival of most organisms including fruit flies Drosophila melanogaster. Fruit flies are known to uphold various trade-offs in their lifespan, development time, fecundity, etc., to confer better survival in the particular exposed environment. The diet of D. melanogaster plays a major role between larval and adult fitness or fitness related traits; its role in the regulation of correlations between pupation height, pre-adult development and adult fitness has not been studied empirically. In our study, we assayed the effect of restricting dietary protein alone from the larval stage to adult stage in fruit flies and studied development time, pre-adult survivorship, pupation height, larval feeding rate and their corresponding lifespan under a light/dark cycle (LD12:12 h).We found that under very low protein concentration in diet, development time and lifespan of the flies increased significantly, along with decreased pupation height and vice versa, while pre-adult survivorship remained unchanged across diets. The results from our study can be taken to suggest that development time is negatively and positively correlated with pupation height and adult lifespan respectively. Thus, a higher protein restriction decreases pupation height and increases development time and vice versa, thereby emphasizing differential alterations taken up by various fitness traits, probably to enhance the overall organismal fitness.
Krittika, S., Lenka, A., & Yadav, P. (2019). Evidence of dietary protein restriction regulating pupation height, development time and lifespan in Drosophila melanogaster. Biology Open, 8(6). https://doi.org/10.1242/bio.042952