Diet Shapes Mortality Response to Trauma in Old Tephritid Fruit Flies.


Despite the importance of trauma in healthspan and lifespan in humans as well as in non-human species, with one important exception the literature in both gerontology and ecology contains virtually no experimental demographic studies concerned with trauma in any species. We used dietary manipulation [full diet (F) versus sugar-only (S)] to produce four levels of frailty in 55-day old tephritid fruit flies (Anastrepha ludens) that were then subject to the trauma of cage transfer stress (n = 900/sex in each of the 4 treatments). The key results included the following: (1) there is a trauma effect caused by the transfer that depends on previous diet before transfer, new diet after transfer and gender of the fly; (2) males are more vulnerable than females; (3) if initial diet was F, flies are relatively immune against the trauma, and the subsequent diet (F or S) does not matter; (4) however if initial diet was S, then the effect of the trauma depends largely on the diet after the transfer; (5) flies transferred from S to F diets do very well in terms of remaining longevity (i.e. greatest remaining longevity), while flies transferred from S to S diet do poorly (i.e. shortest remaining longevity). We discuss both the strengths and weaknesses of this study and implications of the results.






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Publication Info

Carey, James R, Pablo Liedo, Cong Xu, Jane-Ling Wang, Hans-Georg Müller, Yu-Ru Su and James W Vaupel (2016). Diet Shapes Mortality Response to Trauma in Old Tephritid Fruit Flies. PLoS One, 11(7). p. e0158468. 10.1371/journal.pone.0158468 Retrieved from

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