Evol Ecol Res 7: 915-930 (2005)     Full PDF if your library subscribes.

Variation in senescence and associated traits between sympatric cactophilic sibling species of Drosophila

Pablo Sambucetti,1 Jesper G. Sørensen,2 V. Loeschcke2 and Fabian M. Norry1*

1Departamento de Ecología y Evolución, Facultad de Ciencias Exactas y Naturales, Universidad de Buenos Aires, 1428 Buenos Aires, Argentina and  2Aarhus Centre for Environmental Stress Research, Department of Ecology and Genetics, University of Aarhus, Ny Munkegade, DK-8000 Aarhus, Denmark

Author to whom all correspondence should be addressed.
e-mail: fnorry@ege.fcen.uba.ar


Main hypothesis: Longevity and early fecundity are negatively correlated both within and between sympatric but ecologically divergent sibling species that differ in life span, as predicted by evolutionary theories of ageing.

Organism: Drosophila koepferae, which mainly breeds on the patchily distributed Trychocereus cacti, and D. buzzatii, which mainly occurs on the more abundant and uniformly distributed Opuntia cacti.

Methods: Flies were reared under standardized conditions from three sympatric populations. Longevity and mortality rate were studied both at 25°C and 29.5°C. Age-specific fecundity was estimated at 25°C. Other plausibly associated traits were also studied, including heat-shock resistance, Hsp70 expression and body size.

Conclusions: Senescence rate was much faster in D. koepferae than in D. buzzatii in all populations at 25°C but not at 29.5°C. The interspecific difference in longevity at 25°C shifted in sign in one of the populations at 29.5°C. Neither the resistance to a heat shock nor the heat-induced Hsp70 expression showed significant interspecific variation. Body size was larger in D. koepferae than in D. buzzatii. Drosophila koepferae showed a massive reproductive output at early ages compared with D. buzzatii. Longevity and early fecundity at the non-stressful temperature (25°C) were negatively correlated both within and between species. Genotype × temperature interactions can in turn affect interspecific variation in evolutionary trajectories of both mean longevity and demographic rate of senescence.

Keywords: age-specific senescence rate, body size, Drosophila, early fecundity, genotype × temperature interaction, heat-stress resistance, Hsp70 expression.

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        © 2005 Fabian M. Norry. All EER articles are copyrighted by their authors. All authors endorse, permit and license Evolutionary Ecology Ltd. to grant its subscribing institutions/libraries the copying privileges specified below without additional consideration or payment to them or to Evolutionary Ecology, Ltd. These endorsements, in writing, are on file in the office of Evolutionary Ecology, Ltd. Consult authors for permission to use any portion of their work in derivative works, compilations or to distribute their work in any commercial manner.

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