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The Evolution of Development in Drosophila melanogaster Selected for Postponed Senescence

Adam K. Chippindale, Dat T. Hoang, Philip M. Service and Michael R. Rose
Evolution
Vol. 48, No. 6 (Dec., 1994), pp. 1880-1899
DOI: 10.2307/2410515
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2410515
Page Count: 20
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The Evolution of Development in Drosophila melanogaster Selected for Postponed Senescence
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Abstract

The role of development in the evolution of postponed senescence is poorly understood despite the existence of a major gerontological theory connecting developmental rate to aging. We investigate the role of developmental rate in the laboratory evolution of aging using 24 distinct populations of Drosophila melanogaster. We have found a significant difference between the larval developmental rates of our Drosophila stocks selected for early (B) and late-life (O) fertility. This larval developmental time difference of approximately 12% (O > B) has been stable for at least 5 yr, occurs under a wide variety of rearing conditions, responds to reverse selection, and is shown for two other O-like selection treatments. Emerging adults from lines with different larval developmental rates show no significant differences in weight at emergence, thorax length, or starvation resistance. Long-developing lines (O, CO, and CB) have greater survivorship from egg to pupa and from pupa to adult, with and without strong larval competition. Crosses between slower developing populations, and a variety of other lines of evidence, indicate that neither mutation accumulation nor inbreeding depression are responsible for the extended development of our late-reproduced selection treatments. These results stand in striking contrast to other recent studies. We argue that inbreeding depression and inadvertent direct selection in other laboratories' culture regimes explain their results. We demonstrate antagonistic pleiotropy between developmental rate and preadult viability. The absence of any correlation between longevity and developmental time in our stocks refutes the developmental theory of aging.

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