Trade-off associated with selection for increased ability to resist parasitoid attack in Drosophila melanogaster
Fellowes, M. D. E., Kraaijeveld, A. R. and Godfray, H. C. J. (1998) Trade-off associated with selection for increased ability to resist parasitoid attack in Drosophila melanogaster. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London Series B-Biological Sciences, 265 (1405). pp. 1553-1558. ISSN 0962-8452
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Costs of resistance are widely assumed to be important in the evolution of parasite and pathogen defence in animals, but they have been demonstrated experimentally on very few occasions. Endoparasitoids are insects whose larvae develop inside the bodies of other insects where they defend themselves from attack by their hosts' immune systems (especially cellular encapsulation). Working with Drosophila melanogaster and its endoparasitoid Leptopilina boulardi, we selected for increased resistance in four replicate populations of flies. The percentage of flies surviving attack increased from about 0.5% to between 40% and 50% in five generations, revealing substantial additive genetic variation in resistance in the field population from which our culture was established. In comparison with four control lines, flies from selected lines suffered from lower larval survival under conditions of moderate to severe intraspecific competition.