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Dual Modes of Aging in Mediterranean Fruit Fly Females

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Science  14 Aug 1998:
Vol. 281, Issue 5379, pp. 996-998
DOI: 10.1126/science.281.5379.996

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Abstract

The life history of medflies is characterized by two physiological modes with different demographic schedules of fertility and survival: a waiting mode in which both mortality and reproduction are low and a reproductive mode in which mortality is very low at the onset of egg laying but accelerates as eggs are laid. Medflies stay in waiting mode when they are fed only sugar. When fed protein, a scarce resource in the wild, medflies switch to reproductive mode. Medflies that switch from waiting to reproductive mode survive longer than medflies kept in either mode exclusively. An understanding of the physiological shift that occurs between the waiting and reproductive modes may yield information about the fundamental processes that determine longevity.

  • * To whom correspondence should be addressed at Department of Entomology, One Shields Avenue, University of California, Davis, CA 95616, USA. E-mail: jrcarey{at}ucdavis.edu

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