Within- and between-generation effects of temperature on early fecundity of Drosophila melanogaster

Heredity (Edinb). 1995 Feb;74 ( Pt 2):216-23. doi: 10.1038/hdy.1995.30.


We used a repeated-measures, four-factor experimental design to determine how the fecundity of Drosophila melanogaster during the first 5 days of adult life was influenced by paternal, maternal, developmental and laying temperature, with two different temperature levels (18 degrees C vs. 25 degrees C) per factor. Laying temperature had by far the largest effect on fecundity and accounted for 79 per cent of the variance in overall fecundity: flies laying at 25 degrees C began laying eggs about a day earlier and had much higher daily fecundities than did those laying at 18 degrees C. Developmental temperature had no significant effect either on overall fecundity or on the pattern of daily egg production. Dam temperature had a slight effect on the pattern of daily egg production, but not on overall fecundity. In contrast, sire temperature slightly influenced both overall fecundity and the pattern of daily egg production. Our results demonstrate that early fecundity is extraordinarily sensitive to laying temperature (360 per cent increase if laying at 25 degrees C vs. at 18 degrees C), but is relatively well buffered against developmental and cross-generational effects (maximum effect only 7 per cent, for sire temperature).

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Drosophila melanogaster / physiology*
  • Female
  • Fertility
  • Male
  • Ovum
  • Temperature*