Exploring the nutritional basis of starvation resistance in Drosophila melanogaster


Nutrition in animals is key to how long a species survives under starvation conditions. The ecology and evolution in of starvation resistance in fruit flies has been studied, but the nutritional effect on Drosophila starvation resistance has not been fully studied, thus the need for more research. This researched aimed to, using Drosophila melanogaster as a model, study the role that nutritional status plays in fruit flies ability to endure starvation conditions.

The experiment was conducted by giving the subject flies unlimited access to different kinds of lab-prepared food with different nutritional concentrations. The ratio of carbohydrates to proteins was varied in the food for reach group of flies. These researchers let the flies have access to the food for five days before performing assays. 28 different kind of food were prepared, with protein to carbon ration of 4:1, 2:1, 1:1, 1:2, 1:4 or 1:16. Different food samples also contained differing concentrations of these protein to carbohydrate ratios. As a result, males tended to die much more quickly than females, and starvation time was extended when low rations of proteins and carbohydrates were used. When flies were fed higher ratios, starvation resistance decreased.

Other life history traits were also analyzed.