Life-history trade-offs between developmental time, longevity and fecundity

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Braconid parasitoids of Drosophila lay their eggs in the larvae of Drosophila. They are represented on all continents. As Drosophila melanogaster has now a cosmopolitan distribution this species has become an important host for many Asobara species. Currently we keep 5 species in our laboratory: Asobara tabida, a palearctic species, A. citri, an African species, A. japonicus from Japan, A. pleuralis from Indonesia and A. persimilis from Australia.  Although D. melanogaster has the same developmental period from egg to adult in worldwide, the 5 Asobara species differ markedly in developmental time, from 21 days in A.tabida to 12 days in A. pleuralis, measured at 25 C, with the other species having intermediate developmental times. This poses the question which selective pressures act on developmental time, and which constraints prevent species to have shorter developemental times. Our hypothesis is that a shorter developmental time has costs, because it is traded off against other life-history characters, like fecundity or longevity.
The practical work involves measuring of size, weight, egg load, fecundity and lipoprotein contents of Asobara wasps reared under standard laboratory conditions.

This project can be done as BSc stage (4 months), or be extended to a MSc research project.

 

Supervision: Majeed Askari Seyahooei & Jacques van Alphen

Contact: m.a.seyahooei@biology.leidenuniv.nl      

 

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This page contains a single entry by administrator published on April 27, 2008 1:54 PM.

The cost of metabolic rate on the longevity and fecundity of Leptopilina boulardi was the previous entry in this blog.

Handedness in scale-eating cichlids: is it in the bones? is the next entry in this blog.

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