Journal of Biosciences

, Volume 23, Issue 3, pp 279–283

Short- and long-term effects of environmental urea on fecundity inDrosophila melanogaster

Authors

    • Department of Ecology and Evolutionary BiologyUniversity of California
  • Wendy A. Oshiro
    • Department of Ecology and Evolutionary BiologyUniversity of California
  • Jason Shiotsugu
    • Department of Ecology and Evolutionary BiologyUniversity of California
  • Laurence D. Mueller
    • Department of Ecology and Evolutionary BiologyUniversity of California
Article

DOI: 10.1007/BF02720030

Cite this article as:
Joshi, A., Oshiro, W.A., Shiotsugu, J. et al. J Biosci (1998) 23: 279. doi:10.1007/BF02720030

Abstract

Previous studies have shown that exposure to urea-supplemented food inhibited fecundity inDrosophila females, and that this inhibition was not expressed when females were given a choice between regular and urea-supplemented food as an oviposition substrate. We assayed fecundity, on both regular food and urea-supplemented food, at 5, 15 and 25 days post eclosion on females from ten laboratory populations ofDrosophila melanogaster. The females assayed came from one of two treatments; they were maintained as adults on either regular or urea-supplemented food. We found that exposure to urea-supplemented food inhibited fecundity, relative to the levels exhibited on regular food, regardless of whether the urea was present in the assay medium, or in the medium on which the flies were maintained over the course of the experiment, thereby suggesting that urea has both a long-term (possibly physiological) as well as a short-term (possibly behavioural) inhibitory effect on fecundity ofDrosophila females. We also tested and ruled out the hypothesis that prior yeasting could ameliorate the inhibitory effect of urea in the assay medium on fecundity, as this was a possible explanation of why flies given a choice between regular and urea-supplemented food did not exhibit a preference for regular food in a previous study.

Keywords

Urealarval crowdingegg laying behaviourfecundityoviposition preferenceDrosophila melanogaste
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© Indian Academy of Sciences 1998