The role for royal jelly (RJ) in promoting caste differentiation of honeybee larvae into queens rather than workers is well characterized. A recent study demonstrated that this poorly understood complex nutrition drives strikingly similar phenotypic effects in Drosophila melanogaster, such as increased body size and reduced developmental time, making possible the use of D. melanogaster as a model system for the genetic analysis of the cellular mechanisms underlying RJ and caste differentiation. We demonstrate here that RJ increases the body size of some wild-type strains of D. melanogaster but not others, and report significant delays in developmental time in all flies reared on RJ. These findings suggest that cryptic genetic variation may be a factor in the D. melanogaster response to RJ, and should be considered when attempting to elucidate response mechanisms to environmental changes in non-honeybee species.
Morgan, S.L., Seggio, J.A., Nascimento, N.F., Huh, D.D., Hicks, J.A., Sharp, K.A., Axelrod, J.D., & Wang, K.C.. (2016). The Phenotypic Effects of Royal Jelly on Wild-Type D. melanogaster Are Strain-Specific. PLOS ONE, published August 3, 2016. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0159456.
Virtual Commons Citation
Morgan, Stefanie L.; Seggio, Joseph A.; Nascimento, Nara F.; Huh, Dana D.; Hicks, Jasmin A.; Sharp, Katherine A.; Axelrod, Jeffrey D.; and Wang, Kevin C. (2016). The Phenotypic Effects of Royal Jelly on Wild-Type D. melanogaster Are Strain-Specific. In Biological Sciences Faculty Publications. Paper 61.
Available at: http://vc.bridgew.edu/biol_fac/61
Copyright: © 2016 Morgan et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.