Projecten per jaar
Heterogeneity in food resources is a major driver of local adaptation and speciation. Dietary specialization typically involves multiple life-history traits and may thus be limited by the extent to which these traits adapt in concert. Here, we use Drosophila melanogaster, representing an intermediate state in the generalist-specialist continuum, to explore the scope for dietary specialization. D. melanogaster has a close association with yeast, an essential but heterogeneous food resource. We quantify how different D. melanogaster strains from around the globe respond to different yeast species, across multiple yeast-dependent life-history traits including feeding, mating, egg-laying, egg development and survival. We find that D. melanogaster strains respond to different yeast species in different ways, indicating distinct fly strain-yeast interactions. However, we detect no evidence for trade-offs: fly performance tends to be positively rather than negatively correlated across yeast species. We also find that the responses to different yeast species are not aligned across traits: different life-history traits are maximized on different yeast species. Finally, we confirm that D. melanogaster is a resource generalist: it can grow, reproduce and survive on all the yeast species we tested. Together, these findings provide a possible explanation for the limited extent of dietary specialization in D. melanogaster.
Replication Data for: Lack of alignment across yeast-dependent life history traits may limit Drosophila melanogaster dietary specialization