Center for Academic Enrichment and Outreach

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University of Nevada, Las Vegas; Center for Academic Enrichment and Outreach

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Las Vegas (Nev.)


Starvation-resistant Drosophila melanogaster, common fruit flies, deriving from 121 generations of starvation selection, have resulted in genetically, behaviorally, and physiologically different individuals compared to non-resistant counterparts. Starvation-resistant Drosophila are more obese, containing twice as much lipids as control flies.This is a result of starvation-resistant fly larva feeding for 5 days and then entering the pupa stage while non-resistant flies only feed for 4 days.

In this experiment, we hope to answer the question of whether the starvation-resistant flies are genetically predisposed to be substantially more obese than wild populations or if it is a result of this alternate behavior exhibited as larva where they feed for a longer amount of time and thus obtain more lipids from eating more food. 3 populations of starvation-resistant Drosophila were raised from eggs where they were only allowed 4 days to feed, as opposed to 5 days, in order to observe what effects it would have on the lipid content of these individuals once they reached adulthood. When comparing the lipid content of these flies to those allowed to eat the full 5 days as larva, it appears that the flies starved as larvae had a noticeably lower lipid and protein content after emerging from the pupa stage. After the duration of 15 days, their lipid content did not increase anywhere close to the starvation-resistant flies not starved as larva. Thus, we conclude that this evidence contradicts the theory that obesity in the starvation-resistant Drosophila is a genetically linked, inevitable trait and that the larval feeding period is substantially more impactful on their lipid and protein content.


Drosophila melanogaster; Starvation; Starvation resistance; Physiology; Lipid; Obesity; Genetic predisposition; Larval starvation; Fruit flies; Fly


Animal Sciences | Comparative and Evolutionary Physiology | Developmental Biology | Genetics | Life Sciences | Nutrition | Physiology | Systems and Integrative Physiology

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892 KB




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