• Drosophila development, physiology, behaviour, and lifespan are influenced by altered dietary composition

      Ormerod, Kiel G.; LePine, Olivia K.; Abbineni, Prabhodh S.; Bridgeman, Justin M.; Coorssen, Jens R.; Mercier, A. Joffre; Tattersall, Glenn J. (Taylor & Francis, 2017-03)
      Diet profoundly influences the behaviour of animals across many phyla. Despite this, most laboratories employing model organisms, such as Drosophila, use multiple, different, commercial or custom-made media for rearing their animals. In addition to measuring growth, fecundity and longevity, we employed several behavioural and physiological assays to determine if and how altering food media influence wild-type (Canton S) Drosophila melanogaster, at larval, pupal, and adult stages. Comparing two commonly used commercial food media we observed several key developmental and morphological differences. Third-instar larvae and pupae developmental timing, body weight and size, and even lifespan significantly differed between the two diets, and some of these differences persisted into adulthood. Diet was also found to produce significantly different thermal preference, locomotory capacity for geotaxis, feeding rates, and lower muscle response to hormonal stimulation. There were no differences, however, in adult thermal preferences, in the number or viability of eggs laid, or in olfactory learning and memory between the diets. We characterized the composition of the two diets and found particularly significant differences in cholesterol and (phospho)lipids between them. Notably, diacylglycerol (DAG) concentrations vary substantially between the two diets, and may contribute to key phenotypic differences, including lifespan. Overall, the data confirm that two different diets can profoundly influence the behaviour, physiology, morphology and development of wild-type Drosophila, with greater behavioural and physiological differences occurring during the larval stages.