Sex-specific responses to cold in a very cold-tolerant, northern Drosophila species
MetadataShow full item record
Altmetrics Handle Statistics
Altmetrics DOI Statistics
Organisms can plastically alter resource allocation in response to changing environmental factors. For example, in harsh conditions, organisms are expected to shift investment from reproduction toward survival; however, the factors and mechanisms that govern the magnitude of such shifts are relatively poorly studied. Here we compared the impact of cold on males and females of the highly cold-tolerant species Drosophila montana at the phenotypic and transcriptomic levels. Although both sexes showed similar changes in cold tolerance and gene expression in response to cold treatment, indicating that the majority of changes are concordant between the sexes, we identified a clear reduction in sexually dimorphic gene expression, suggesting that preparing for the colder season involves reducing investment in sex-specific traits. This reduction was larger in males than females, as expected if male sexual traits are more condition-dependent than female traits, as predicted by theory. Gene expression changes were primarily associated with shifts in metabolic profile, which likely play a role in increasing cold tolerance. Finally, we found that the expression of immune genes was reduced following cold treatment, suggesting that reduced investment in costly immune function may be important in helping flies survive colder periods.
Parker , D J , Envall , T , Ritchie , M G & Kankare , M 2021 , ' Sex-specific responses to cold in a very cold-tolerant, northern Drosophila species ' , Heredity , vol. 126 , no. 4 , pp. 695–705 . https://doi.org/10.1038/s41437-020-00398-2
Copyright © The Author(s) 2021. This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article’s Creative Commons license and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder.
DescriptionFunding: This work was supported by Academy of Finland projects 268214 and 322980 to MK and a NERC (UK) grant NE/P000592/1 to MGR.
Items in the St Andrews Research Repository are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated.