Mating reverses actuarial aging in female Queensland fruit flies

Sarsha Yap, Benjamin G. Fanson, Phillip W. Taylor

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)
30 Downloads (Pure)


Animals that have a long pre-reproductive adult stage often employ mechanisms that minimize aging over this period in order to preserve reproductive lifespan. In a remarkable exception, one tephritid fruit fly exhibits substantial pre-reproductive aging but then mitigates this aging during a diet-dependent transition to the reproductive stage, after which life expectancy matches that of newly emerged flies. Here, we ascertain the role of nutrients, sexual maturation and mating in mitigation of previous aging in female Queensland fruit flies. Flies were provided one of three diets: 'sugar', 'essential', or 'yeast-sugar'. Essential diet contained sugar and micronutrients found in yeast but lacked maturation-enabling protein. At days 20 and 30, a subset of flies on the sugar diet were switched to essential or yeast-sugar diet, and some yeast-sugar fed flies were mated 10 days later. Complete mitigation of actuarial aging was only observed in flies that were switched to a yeast-sugar diet and mated, indicating that mating is key. Identifying the physiological processes associated with mating promise novel insights into repair mechanisms for aging.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0132486
Pages (from-to)1-12
Number of pages12
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 6 Jul 2015

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