2016 - 19th Annual Steven Galovich Memorial Student Symposium

Presentation Title

The effect of maternal nutrition on eggs size in Drosophila melanogaster

Student Presenter(s) and Advisor

Josephine Masandika, Lake Forest CollegeFollow

Location

Mohr Walkway

Abstract

In most animals, egg size is critical to female reproductive success. The egg supplies most of the raw material for an embryo’s growth and development and so the size of an embryo at the end of development is largely determined by egg size. Many studies have shown that egg size affects offspring fitness, such that offspring from larger eggs have higher hatching success, develop more rapidly, and end up as larger adults. What is unclear is how a female’s nutritional status affects the size of eggs that she produces. A previous study in the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster indicated that small females that have been malnourished during development produce larger eggs than large females that have been well-fed during development. In order to determine the genetic mechanisms that regulate this phenomenon, we repeated the experiments of this study. In contrast to the original findings, however, we found that small malnourished females produce smaller eggs than large well-fed females. Using the powerful molecular-genetic tools available in Drosophila we are exploring the mechanisms by which females increase egg size in response to increased nutrition status.

Presentation Type

Poster

Start Date

4-5-2016 10:30 AM

End Date

4-5-2016 11:45 AM

Panel

Poster Session

Panel Moderator

Karen Kirk

Field of Study for Presentation

Biology

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Apr 5th, 10:30 AM Apr 5th, 11:45 AM

The effect of maternal nutrition on eggs size in Drosophila melanogaster

Mohr Walkway

In most animals, egg size is critical to female reproductive success. The egg supplies most of the raw material for an embryo’s growth and development and so the size of an embryo at the end of development is largely determined by egg size. Many studies have shown that egg size affects offspring fitness, such that offspring from larger eggs have higher hatching success, develop more rapidly, and end up as larger adults. What is unclear is how a female’s nutritional status affects the size of eggs that she produces. A previous study in the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster indicated that small females that have been malnourished during development produce larger eggs than large females that have been well-fed during development. In order to determine the genetic mechanisms that regulate this phenomenon, we repeated the experiments of this study. In contrast to the original findings, however, we found that small malnourished females produce smaller eggs than large well-fed females. Using the powerful molecular-genetic tools available in Drosophila we are exploring the mechanisms by which females increase egg size in response to increased nutrition status.