Poster Presentation Society for Molecular Biology and Evolution Conference 2016

Life history evolution in response to condition-dependent juvenile selection (#575)

Chris Kimber 1 , Urban Friberg 1
  1. Linköping University, Linköping, ÖSTERGöTLAND, Sweden

Why organisms age the way they do remains a fundamental question in evolutionary biology. Ageing was traditionally attributed to alleles that are deleterious only in late life, but it has recently become clear that this explanation is incomplete. Mutations affecting both early reproduction and late life survival in the same direction are also common, likely because they affect overall condition. This positive pleiotropy potentially plays an important and unappreciated role in the evolution of lifespan, but how it affects the evolution of ageing itself remains undocumented. Furthermore, little is known about the link between selection on pre-adult condition and survival rate later in life. To investigate how selection acting on mutations that affect organismal condition at the juvenile stage indirectly influences survival, ageing rate and the trajectory of life history in general, we employ an experimental evolution approach in Drosophila melanogaster. Beginning with a large outbred laboratory population, we imposed two distinct novel selection environments that were confined to the juvenile stage of the life cycle. Each environment was designed to impose selection that should reduce mutational load affecting a wide range of traits that capture overall organismal condition. We can then study how reduction of mutational load at the juvenile stage influences adult life history pleiotropically. We will present data that addresses the effect of the selection environments on mutational load and the evolution of juvenile life history as a result of selection, and explores pleiotropic changes in adult life history traits as a consequence of selection on juvenile condition.