Drosophilamelanogaster is frequently used in ageing studies to elucidate whichmechanisms determine the onset and progress of senescence. Lines selected for increased longevity have often been shown to performaswell as or superior to control lines in life history, stress resistance and behavioural traits when tested in the laboratory. Functional senescence in longevity selected lines has also been shown to occur at a slower rate. However, it is known that performance in a controlled laboratory setting is not necessarily representative of performance in nature. In this study the effect of ageing, environmental temperature and longevity selection on performance in the fieldwas tested. Flies fromlongevity selected and control lines of different ages (2, 5, 10 and 15 days) were released in an environment free of natural food sources. Control flies were tested at low, intermediate and high temperatures,while longevity selected flieswere tested at the intermediate temperature only. The ability of flies to locate and reach a food sourcewas tested. Flies of intermediate agewere generally better at locating resources than both younger and older flies, where hot and cold environments accelerate the senescent decline in performance. Control lines were better able to locate a resource compared to longevity selected lines of the same age, suggesting that longevity comes at a cost in early life field fitness, supporting the antagonistic pleiotropy theory of ageing.
Experimental Gerontology, 2013, Vol 48, Issue 11
Aging; Release–capture; Functional senescence; Environmental temperature; Longevity selection; Fitness in the field