Age- and diet-specific effects of variation at S6 Kinase on life history, metabolic, and immune response traits in drosophila melanogaster

Academic Article


  • Life history theory hypothesizes that genetically based variation in life history traits results from alleles that alter age-specific patterns of energy allocation among the competing demands of reproduction, storage, and maintenance. Despite the important role that alleles with age-specific effects must play in life history evolution, few naturally occurring alleles with age-specific effects on life history traits have been identified. A recent mapping study identified S6 kinase (S6k) as a candidate gene affecting lipid storage in Drosophila. S6k is in the target of rapamycin pathway, which regulates cell growth in response to nutrient availability and has also been implicated to influence many life history traits from fecundity to life span. In this article, we used quantitative complementation tests to examine the effect of allelic variation at S6k on a range of phenotypes associated with metabolism and fitness in an age-, diet-, and sex-specific manner. We found that alleles of S6k have pleiotropic effects on total protein levels, glycogen storage, life span, and the immune response and demonstrate that these allelic effects are age, diet, and sex specific. As many of the genes in the target of rapamycin pathway are evolutionarily conserved, our data suggest that genes in this pathway could play a pivotal role in life history evolution in a wide range of taxa. © 2010, Mary Ann Liebert, Inc.
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    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Cho I; Horn L; Felix TM; Foster L; Gregory G; Starz-Gaiano M; Chambers MM; De Luca M; Leips J
  • Start Page

  • 473
  • End Page

  • 485
  • Volume

  • 29
  • Issue

  • 9