Sex and age specific reduction in stress resistance and mitochondrial DNA copy number in Drosophila melanogaster

Torsten Nygaard Kristensen*, Volker Loeschcke, Qihua Tan, Cino Pertoldi, Jonas Mengel-From

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

62 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Environmental stresses such as extreme temperatures, dehydration and food deprivation may have distinct consequences for different age-classes and for males and females across species. Here we investigate a natural population of the model organism Drosophila melanogaster. Males and females at ages 3, 19 and 35 days were tested for stress resistance; i.e. the ability of flies to cope with starvation and both cold and hot temperatures. Further, we tested a measure of metabolic efficiency, namely mitochondrial DNA copy number (mtDNA CN) in both sexes at all three age-classes. We hypothesize that stress resistance is reduced at old age and more so in males, and that mtDNA CN is a biomarker for sex- and age-dependent reductions in the ability to cope with harsh environments. We show that: (1) males exhibit reduced starvation tolerance at old age, whereas older females are better in coping with periods without food compared to younger females, (2) heat tolerance decreases with increasing age in males but not in females, (3) cold tolerance is reduced at old age in both sexes, and (4) old males have reduced mtDNA CN whereas mtDNA CN slightly increases with age in females. In conclusion, our data provide strong evidence for trait and sex specific consequences of aging with females generally being better at coping with environmental stress at old age. The reduced mtDNA CN in old males suggests reduced metabolic efficiency and this may partly explain why males are less stress tolerant at old age than females. We suggest that mtDNA CN might be a suitable biomarker for physiological robustness. Our findings likely extend to other taxa than Drosophila and therefore we discuss the observations in relation to aging and sex specific lifespan across species.

Original languageEnglish
Article number12305
JournalScientific Reports
Volume9
Number of pages7
ISSN2045-2322
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 23. Aug 2019

Fingerprint

stress tolerance
Drosophila melanogaster
mitochondrial DNA
gender
age structure
starvation
biomarkers
food deprivation
heat tolerance
cold tolerance
Drosophila
temperature
organisms

Cite this

@article{540ec5bea57f4407be26c00c144fa806,
title = "Sex and age specific reduction in stress resistance and mitochondrial DNA copy number in Drosophila melanogaster",
abstract = "Environmental stresses such as extreme temperatures, dehydration and food deprivation may have distinct consequences for different age-classes and for males and females across species. Here we investigate a natural population of the model organism Drosophila melanogaster. Males and females at ages 3, 19 and 35 days were tested for stress resistance; i.e. the ability of flies to cope with starvation and both cold and hot temperatures. Further, we tested a measure of metabolic efficiency, namely mitochondrial DNA copy number (mtDNA CN) in both sexes at all three age-classes. We hypothesize that stress resistance is reduced at old age and more so in males, and that mtDNA CN is a biomarker for sex- and age-dependent reductions in the ability to cope with harsh environments. We show that: (1) males exhibit reduced starvation tolerance at old age, whereas older females are better in coping with periods without food compared to younger females, (2) heat tolerance decreases with increasing age in males but not in females, (3) cold tolerance is reduced at old age in both sexes, and (4) old males have reduced mtDNA CN whereas mtDNA CN slightly increases with age in females. In conclusion, our data provide strong evidence for trait and sex specific consequences of aging with females generally being better at coping with environmental stress at old age. The reduced mtDNA CN in old males suggests reduced metabolic efficiency and this may partly explain why males are less stress tolerant at old age than females. We suggest that mtDNA CN might be a suitable biomarker for physiological robustness. Our findings likely extend to other taxa than Drosophila and therefore we discuss the observations in relation to aging and sex specific lifespan across species.",
author = "Kristensen, {Torsten Nygaard} and Volker Loeschcke and Qihua Tan and Cino Pertoldi and Jonas Mengel-From",
year = "2019",
month = "8",
day = "23",
doi = "10.1038/s41598-019-48752-7",
language = "English",
volume = "9",
journal = "Scientific Reports",
issn = "2045-2322",
publisher = "Nature Publishing Group",

}

Sex and age specific reduction in stress resistance and mitochondrial DNA copy number in Drosophila melanogaster. / Kristensen, Torsten Nygaard; Loeschcke, Volker; Tan, Qihua; Pertoldi, Cino; Mengel-From, Jonas.

In: Scientific Reports, Vol. 9, 12305, 23.08.2019.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

TY - JOUR

T1 - Sex and age specific reduction in stress resistance and mitochondrial DNA copy number in Drosophila melanogaster

AU - Kristensen, Torsten Nygaard

AU - Loeschcke, Volker

AU - Tan, Qihua

AU - Pertoldi, Cino

AU - Mengel-From, Jonas

PY - 2019/8/23

Y1 - 2019/8/23

N2 - Environmental stresses such as extreme temperatures, dehydration and food deprivation may have distinct consequences for different age-classes and for males and females across species. Here we investigate a natural population of the model organism Drosophila melanogaster. Males and females at ages 3, 19 and 35 days were tested for stress resistance; i.e. the ability of flies to cope with starvation and both cold and hot temperatures. Further, we tested a measure of metabolic efficiency, namely mitochondrial DNA copy number (mtDNA CN) in both sexes at all three age-classes. We hypothesize that stress resistance is reduced at old age and more so in males, and that mtDNA CN is a biomarker for sex- and age-dependent reductions in the ability to cope with harsh environments. We show that: (1) males exhibit reduced starvation tolerance at old age, whereas older females are better in coping with periods without food compared to younger females, (2) heat tolerance decreases with increasing age in males but not in females, (3) cold tolerance is reduced at old age in both sexes, and (4) old males have reduced mtDNA CN whereas mtDNA CN slightly increases with age in females. In conclusion, our data provide strong evidence for trait and sex specific consequences of aging with females generally being better at coping with environmental stress at old age. The reduced mtDNA CN in old males suggests reduced metabolic efficiency and this may partly explain why males are less stress tolerant at old age than females. We suggest that mtDNA CN might be a suitable biomarker for physiological robustness. Our findings likely extend to other taxa than Drosophila and therefore we discuss the observations in relation to aging and sex specific lifespan across species.

AB - Environmental stresses such as extreme temperatures, dehydration and food deprivation may have distinct consequences for different age-classes and for males and females across species. Here we investigate a natural population of the model organism Drosophila melanogaster. Males and females at ages 3, 19 and 35 days were tested for stress resistance; i.e. the ability of flies to cope with starvation and both cold and hot temperatures. Further, we tested a measure of metabolic efficiency, namely mitochondrial DNA copy number (mtDNA CN) in both sexes at all three age-classes. We hypothesize that stress resistance is reduced at old age and more so in males, and that mtDNA CN is a biomarker for sex- and age-dependent reductions in the ability to cope with harsh environments. We show that: (1) males exhibit reduced starvation tolerance at old age, whereas older females are better in coping with periods without food compared to younger females, (2) heat tolerance decreases with increasing age in males but not in females, (3) cold tolerance is reduced at old age in both sexes, and (4) old males have reduced mtDNA CN whereas mtDNA CN slightly increases with age in females. In conclusion, our data provide strong evidence for trait and sex specific consequences of aging with females generally being better at coping with environmental stress at old age. The reduced mtDNA CN in old males suggests reduced metabolic efficiency and this may partly explain why males are less stress tolerant at old age than females. We suggest that mtDNA CN might be a suitable biomarker for physiological robustness. Our findings likely extend to other taxa than Drosophila and therefore we discuss the observations in relation to aging and sex specific lifespan across species.

U2 - 10.1038/s41598-019-48752-7

DO - 10.1038/s41598-019-48752-7

M3 - Journal article

VL - 9

JO - Scientific Reports

JF - Scientific Reports

SN - 2045-2322

M1 - 12305

ER -