Turning food into eggs: insights from nutritional biology and developmental physiology of Drosophila

Christen K. Mirth, Andre Nogueira Alves, Matthew DW Piper

Research output: Contribution to journalReview ArticleResearchpeer-review

44 Citations (Scopus)


Nutrition plays a central role in fecundity, regulating the onset of reproductive maturity, egg production, and the survival and health of offspring from insects to humans. Although decades of research have worked to uncover how nutrition mediates these effects, it has proven difficult to disentangle the relative role of nutrients as the raw material for egg and offspring development versus their role in stimulating endocrine cascades necessary to drive development. This has been further complicated by the fact that both nutrients and the signalling cascades they regulate interact in complex ways to control fecundity. Separating the two effects becomes important when trying to understand how fecundity is regulated, and in devising strategies to offset the negative effects of nutrition on reproductive health. In this review, we use the extensive literature on egg development in the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster to explore how the nutrients from food provide the building blocks and stimulate signalling cascades necessary for making an egg.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)49-57
Number of pages9
JournalCurrent Opinion in Insect Science
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2019

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