Amino acid quality modifies the quantitative availability of protein for reproduction in Drosophila melanogaster

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Diet composition, especially the relative abundance of key macronutrients, is well known to affect animal wellbeing by changing reproductive output, metabolism and length of life. However, less attention has been paid to the ways the quality of these nutrients modify these macronutrient interactions. Nutritional Geometry can be used to model the effects of multiple dietary components on life-history traits and to compare these responses when diet quality is varied. Previous studies have shown that dietary protein quality can be increased for egg production in Drosophila melanogaster by matching the dietary amino acid proportions to the balance of amino acids used by the sum of proteins in the fly's in silico translated exome. Here, we show that dietary protein quality dramatically alters the effect of protein quantity on female reproduction across a broad range of diets varying in both protein and carbohydrate concentrations. These data show that when sources of ingredients vary, their relative value to the consumer can vastly differ and yield very different physiological outcomes. Such variations could be particularly important for meta analyses that look to draw generalisable conclusions from diverse studies.

Original languageEnglish
Article number104050
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Insect Physiology
Publication statusPublished - May 2022


  • Amino acids
  • Drosophila melanogaster
  • Nutritional geometry
  • Protein quality
  • Reproduction

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