MPIDR Working Paper

Adaptive trade-off in C. capitata is a characteristic feature of the long-lived subpopulation

Romanioukha, A., Karkach, A. S., Carey, J. R., Yashin, A. I.
MPIDR Working Paper WP-2010-019, 8 pages.
Rostock, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research (February 2010)
Open Access


The conception of the cost of reproduction provides an important insight on connection between fertility and life span in living organisms. Despite substantial progress in understanding this connection many important features of fertility-longevity trade-off are masked by confounding factors, and remain poorly understood. We performed reanalysis of experimental data on fertility and longevity in medflies and discovered a physiological fertility-longevity trade-off especially pronounced in the long lived fraction of the population. The presence of such trade-off suggests existence of common metabolic resource shared between reproduction and somatic maintenance in a fly. We show that in addition to sugar, protein and any other essential components of the yeast the presence of at least one more component in the diet is required to explain the adaptive trade-off between longevity and reproduction in response to environmental conditions. We suggest and discuss a principle of dynamic resource allocation which explains the fertility–longevity trade-off phenomenon for these flies. Adaptive allocation of metabolic and other resources allows flies to tailor their life history parameters to the environment. Due to limitations of the physiological adaptation different individuals may be genetically “preadapted” to different living conditions thus contributing to population stability and heterogeneity.
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