MUSEO ARGENTINO DE CIENCIAS NATURALES "BERNARDINO RIVADAVIA"
Unidad Ejecutora - UE
OVIPOSITION AND PERFORMANCE IN NATURAL HOSTS IN CACTOPHILIC DROSOPHILA
SOTO E. M.; GOENAGA, J.; HURTADO J. P.; HASSON, E.
Lugar: Geelong; Año: 2011 vol. 26 p. 975 - 975
The cactus?yeast?Drosophila model system provides an excellent opportunity to investigate the significance of ecological factors in evolution. D. buzzatii and D. koepferae are sister species, with partially overlapping distribution ranges and a certain degree of habitat overlap. The main breeding and feeding resources of D. buzzatii are the decaying cladodes of prickly pears (genus Opuntia), whereas D. koepferae utilizes mainly columnar cacti of the genera Cereus and Echinopsis. These host plants differ in their chemical composition, the microflora associated to the decaying process and patterns of spatial and temporal predictability. The aim of the present work is to investigate host plant selection and utilization of two different cactus hosts. We report the results of field and laboratory studies examining behavioral traits related to egg-laying (oviposition preference and host acceptance) and several measures of performance (viability, developmental time, wing morphology and starvation resistance) in flies reared in the two main host cacti that D. buzzatii and D. koepferae exploit in the studied area: O. sulphurea and E. terschekii. The main conclusion of our study is the clear connection between the distribution of the cactophilic species, D. buzzatii and D. koepferae, and the abundance of the two main natural hosts, which is line with the remarkable influence that cactus hosts impose on larval and adult life history traits and behavioral traits. Overall, the results of field and laboratory work point to the important role of host plant shifts in the evolutionary history of these species.