No effect of mitochondrial genotype on reproductive plasticity following exposure to a non-infectious pathogen challenge in female or male Drosophila

M Nystrand, E J Cassidy, D K Dowling

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Mitochondrial genetic variation shapes the expression of life-history traits associated with reproduction, development and survival, and has also been associated with the prevalence and progression of infectious bacteria and viruses in humans. The breadth of these effects on multifaceted components of health, and their link to disease susceptibility, led us to test whether variation across mitochondrial haplotypes affected reproductive success following an immune challenge in the form of a non-infectious pathogen. We test this, by challenging male and female fruit flies (Drosophila melanogaster), harbouring each of three distinct mitochondrial haplotypes in an otherwise standardized genetic background, to either a mix of heat-killed bacteria, or a procedural control, prior to measuring their subsequent reproductive performance. The effect of the pathogen challenge on reproductive success did not differ across mitochondrial haplotypes; thus there was no evidence that patterns of reproductive plasticity were modified by the mitochondrial genotype following a non-infectious pathogen exposure. We discuss the implications of our data, and suggest future research avenues based on these results.

Original languageEnglish
Article number42009
Number of pages10
JournalScientific Reports
Publication statusPublished - 9 Feb 2017

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