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In JoVE (1)
- Experimental Manipulation of Body Size to Estimate Morphological Scaling Relationships in Drosophila
Other Publications (16)
- Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution
- Die Naturwissenschaften
- BMC Developmental Biology
- PLoS Biology
- Evolution; International Journal of Organic Evolution
- PLoS Biology
- Current Biology : CB
- BioEssays : News and Reviews in Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology
- Lasers in Medical Science
- Proceedings. Biological Sciences / The Royal Society
- Developmental Biology
- Proceedings. Biological Sciences / The Royal Society
- Developmental Biology
- PLoS Genetics
- PloS One
Articles by Alexander W. Shingleton in JoVE
Experimental Manipulation of Body Size to Estimate Morphological Scaling Relationships in Drosophila
R. Craig Stillwell1, Ian Dworkin2, Alexander W. Shingleton2, W. Anthony Frankino1
1Department of Biology & Biochemistry, University of Houston, 2Department of Zoology, Michigan State University
Morphological scaling relationships capture and describe organismal shape. We present a method to measure morphological scaling relationships across the natural range of body sizes in fully metamorphic insects. Using a simple diet manipulation we increase the distribution of trait sizes, permitting the accurate description of how shape and size co-vary.
Other articles by Alexander W. Shingleton on PubMed
Molecular Phylogenetic Evidence for Multiple Gains or Losses of Ant Mutualism Within the Aphid Genus Chaitophorus
Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution. Jan, 2003 | Pubmed ID: 12470935
Mutualism with ants is suspected to be a highly labile trait within homopteran evolution. We used molecular phylogenetic evidence to test whether the mutualism has multiple origins within a single aphid genus. We constructed a molecular phylogeny of 15 Chaitophorus Koch (Hemiptera: Aphidoidea) species, using mitochondrial cytochrome oxidase I and II sequences. Ant tending evolved, or was lost, at least five times during Chaitophorus evolution. Parametric bootstrapping rejected the hypothesis of a single origin of ant tending in this genus. Further, the Chaitophorus made at least two host genus switches from poplars (Populus) to willow (Salix), and four switches in feeding position, from leaf feeding to stem feeding or vice versa. This is the first phylogenetic confirmation that ant tending is an evolutionarily labile trait in aphids.
Size-correlated Division of Labour and Spatial Distribution of Workers in the Driver Ant, Dorylus Molestus
Die Naturwissenschaften. Jun, 2003 | Pubmed ID: 12835840
Driver ants ( Dorylus spp.) show a high degree of worker polymorphism. Previous reports suggest that large Dorylus workers are specialised for defensive tasks. In this study, we first quantitatively tested whether there is a size-correlated division of defensive labour among workers. Second, we determined whether the spatial distribution of workers outside the nest can be predicted based on such size-specific differences in task allocation. We show that the division of defensive behaviour among different-sized workers is not strict. However, there is a significant correlation between worker size and the tendency to carry out defensive tasks. First, workers of larger size were more likely than smaller workers to participate in colony defence. Second, larger workers were more frequent near the nest containing the reproducing individuals and the brood. Finally, large workers were more common in open sections of the trail than in covered sections, which are likely to be less exposed to predators.
BMC Developmental Biology. Aug, 2003 | Pubmed ID: 12908880
Many insects undergo a period of arrested development, called diapause, to avoid seasonally recurring adverse conditions. Whilst the phenology and endocrinology of insect diapause have been well studied, there has been comparatively little research into the developmental details of diapause. We investigated developmental aspects of diapause in sexually-produced embryos of the pea aphid, Acyrthosiphon pisum.
PLoS Biology. Oct, 2003 | Pubmed ID: 14551917
Symbiotic relationships between bacteria and insect hosts are common. Although the bacterial endosymbionts have been subjected to intense investigation, little is known of the host cells in which they reside, the bacteriocytes. We have studied the development and evolution of aphid bacteriocytes, the host cells that contain the endosymbiotic bacteria Buchnera aphidicola. We show that bacteriocytes of Acyrthosiphon pisum express several gene products (or their paralogues): Distal-less, Ultrabithorax/Abdominal-A, and Engrailed. Using these markers, we find that a subpopulation of the bacteriocytes is specified prior to the transmission of maternal bacteria to the embryo. In addition, we discovered that a second population of cells is recruited to the bacteriocyte fate later in development. We experimentally demonstrate that bacteriocyte induction and proliferation occur independently of B. aphidicola. Major features of bacteriocyte development, including the two-step recruitment of bacteriocytes, have been conserved in aphids for 80-150 million years. Furthermore, we have investigated two cases of evolutionary loss of bacterial symbionts: in one case, where novel extracellular, eukaryotic symbionts replaced the bacteria, the bacteriocyte is maintained; in another case, where symbionts are absent, the bacteriocytes are initiated but not maintained. The bacteriocyte represents an evolutionarily novel cell fate, which is developmentally determined independently of the bacteria. Three of five transcription factors we examined show novel expression patterns in bacteriocytes, suggesting that bacteriocytes may have evolved to express many additional transcription factors. The evolutionary transition to a symbiosis in which bacteria and an aphid cell form a functional unit, similar to the origin of plastids, has apparently involved extensive molecular adaptations on the part of the host cell.
Evolution; International Journal of Organic Evolution. Apr, 2005 | Pubmed ID: 15926702
Mutualisms are mutually beneficial interactions between species and are fundamentally important at all levels of biological organization. It is not clear, however, why one species participates in a particular mutualism whereas another does not. Here we show that pre-existing traits can dispose particular species to evolve a mutualistic interaction. Combining morphological, ecological, and behavioral data in a comparative analysis, we show that resource use in Chaitophorus aphids (Hemiptera: Aphididae) modulates the origin of their mutualism with ants. We demonstrate that aphid species that feed on deeper phloem elements have longer mouthparts, that this inhibits their ability to withdraw their mouthparts and escape predators and that, consequently, this increases their need for protection by mutualist ants.
PLoS Biology. Sep, 2005 | Pubmed ID: 16086608
Recent studies have indicated that the insulin-signaling pathway controls body and organ size in Drosophila, and most metazoans, by signaling nutritional conditions to the growing organs. The temporal requirements for insulin signaling during development are, however, unknown. Using a temperature-sensitive insulin receptor (Inr) mutation in Drosophila, we show that the developmental requirements for Inr activity are organ specific and vary in time. Early in development, before larvae reach the "critical size" (the size at which they commit to metamorphosis and can complete development without further feeding), Inr activity influences total development time but not final body and organ size. After critical size, Inr activity no longer affects total development time but does influence final body and organ size. Final body size is affected by Inr activity from critical size until pupariation, whereas final organ size is sensitive to Inr activity from critical size until early pupal development. In addition, different organs show different sensitivities to changes in Inr activity for different periods of development, implicating the insulin pathway in the control of organ allometry. The reduction in Inr activity is accompanied by a two-fold increase in free-sugar levels, similar to the effect of reduced insulin signaling in mammals. Finally, we find that varying the magnitude of Inr activity has different effects on cell size and cell number in the fly wing, providing a potential linkage between the mode of action of insulin signaling and the distinct downstream controls of cell size and number. We present a model that incorporates the effects of the insulin-signaling pathway into the Drosophila life cycle. We hypothesize that the insulin-signaling pathway controls such diverse effects as total developmental time, total body size and organ size through its effects on the rate of cell growth, and proliferation in different organs.
Current Biology : CB. Oct, 2005 | Pubmed ID: 16243018
New research has revealed that the activity of the insulin-signaling pathway in the prothoracic gland of Drosophila modulates ecdysone release and thereby influences both the duration and rate of larval growth.
BioEssays : News and Reviews in Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology. Jun, 2007 | Pubmed ID: 17508394
Among all organisms, the size of each body part or organ scales with overall body size, a phenomenon called allometry. The study of shape and form has attracted enormous interest from biologists, but the genetic, developmental and physiological mechanisms that control allometry and the proportional growth of parts have remained elusive. Recent progress in our understanding of body-size regulation provides a new synthetic framework for thinking about the mechanisms and the evolution of allometric scaling. In particular, insulin/IGF signaling, which plays major roles in longevity, diabetes and the regulation of cell, organ and body size, might also be centrally involved in regulating organismal shape. Here we review recent advances in the fields of growth regulation and endocrinology and use them to construct a developmental model of static allometry expression in insects. This model serves as the foundation for a research program that will result in a deeper understanding of the relationship between growth and form, a question that has fascinated biologists for centuries.
Lasers in Medical Science. Oct, 2008 | Pubmed ID: 17902014
The effects of various laser wavelengths and fluences on the fungal isolate, Trichophyton rubrum, were examined in vitro. Standard-size isolates of T. rubrum were irradiated by using various laser systems. Colony areas were compared for growth inhibition on days 1, 3, and 6 after laser irradiation. Statistically significant growth inhibition of T. rubrum was detected in colonies treated with the 1,064-nm Q-switched Nd:YAG laser at 4 and 8 J/cm(2) and 532-nm Q-switched Nd:YAG laser at 8 J/cm(2). Q-switched Nd:YAG laser at 532- and 1,064-nm wavelengths produced significant inhibitory effect upon the fungal isolate T. rubrum in this in vitro study. However, more in vitro and in vivo studies are necessary to investigate if lasers would have a potential use in the treatment of fungal infections of skin and its adnexa.
Proceedings. Biological Sciences / The Royal Society. Aug, 2008 | Pubmed ID: 18460425
The regulation of static allometry is a fundamental developmental process, yet little is understood of the mechanisms that ensure organs scale correctly across a range of body sizes. Recent studies have revealed the physiological and genetic mechanisms that control nutritional variation in the final body and organ size in holometabolous insects. The implications these mechanisms have for the regulation of static allometry is, however, unknown. Here, we formulate a mathematical description of the nutritional control of body and organ size in Drosophila melanogaster and use it to explore how the developmental regulators of size influence static allometry. The model suggests that the slope of nutritional static allometries, the 'allometric coefficient', is controlled by the relative sensitivity of an organ's growth rate to changes in nutrition, and the relative duration of development when nutrition affects an organ's final size. The model also predicts that, in order to maintain correct scaling, sensitivity to changes in nutrition varies among organs, and within organs through time. We present experimental data that support these predictions. By revealing how specific physiological and genetic regulators of size influence allometry, the model serves to identify developmental processes upon which evolution may act to alter scaling relationships.
Developmental Biology. Sep, 2008 | Pubmed ID: 18632097
The regulation of body size in animals involves mechanisms that terminate growth. In holometabolous insects growth ends at the onset of metamorphosis and is contingent on their reaching a critical size in the final larval instar. Despite the importance of critical size in regulating final body size, the developmental mechanisms regulating critical size are poorly understood. Here we demonstrate that the developing adult organs, called imaginal discs, are a regulator of critical size in larval Drosophila. We show that damage to, or slow growth of, the imaginal discs is sufficient to retard metamorphosis both by increasing critical size and extending the period between attainment of critical size and metamorphosis. Nevertheless, larvae with damaged and slow growing discs metamorphose at the same size as wild-type larvae. In contrast, complete removal of all imaginal tissue has no effect on critical size. These data indicate that both attainment of critical size and the timely onset of metamorphosis are regulated by the imaginal discs in Drosophila, and suggest that the termination of growth is coordinated among growing tissues to ensure that all organs attain a characteristic final size.
Many Ways to Be Small: Different Environmental Regulators of Size Generate Distinct Scaling Relationships in Drosophila Melanogaster
Proceedings. Biological Sciences / The Royal Society. Jul, 2009 | Pubmed ID: 19386657
Static allometries, the scaling relationship between body and trait size, describe the shape of animals in a population or species, and are generated in response to variation in genetic or environmental regulators of size. In principle, allometries may vary with the different size regulators that generate them, which can be problematic since allometric differences are also used to infer patterns of selection on morphology. We test this hypothesis by examining the patterns of scaling in Drosophila melanogaster subjected to variation in three environmental regulators of size: nutrition, temperature and rearing density. Our data indicate that different environmental regulators of size do indeed generate different patterns of scaling. Consequently, flies that are ostensibly the same size may have very different body proportions. These data indicate that trait size is not simply a read-out of body size, but that different environmental factors may regulate body and trait size, and the relationship between the two, through different developmental mechanisms. It may therefore be difficult to infer selective pressures that shape scaling relationships in a wild population without first elucidating the environmental and genetic factors that generate size variation among members of the population.
Organogenesis. Apr-Jun, 2010 | Pubmed ID: 20885854
The correct regulation of organ size is a fundamental developmental process, the failure of which can compromise organ function and organismal integrity. Consequently, the mechanisms that regulate organ size have been subject to intense research. This research has highlighted four classes of mechanism that are involved in organ size regulation: physiology, plasticity, patterning and physical force. Nevertheless, how these mechanisms are integrated and converge on the cellular process that regulate organ growth is unknown. One group of animals where this integration is beginning to be achieved is in the insects. Here, I review the different mechanisms that regulate organ size in insects, and describe our current understanding of how these mechanisms interact. The genes and hormones involved are remarkably conserved in all animals, so these studies in insects provide a precedent for future research on organ size regulation in mammals.
Developmental Biology. Sep, 2011 | Pubmed ID: 21777576
The developmental mechanisms by which growth is coordinated among developing organs are largely unknown and yet are essential to generate a correctly proportioned adult. In particular, such coordinating mechanisms must be able to accommodate perturbations in the growth of individual organs caused by environmental or developmental stress. By autonomously slowing the growth of the developing wing discs within Drosophila larvae, we show that growing organs are able to signal localized growth perturbation to the other organs in the body and slow their growth also. Growth rate is so tightly coordinated among organs that they all show approximately the same reduction in growth rate as the developing wings, thereby maintaining their correct size relationship relative to one another throughout development. Further, we show that the systemic growth effects of localized growth-perturbation are mediated by ecdysone. Application of ecdysone to larvae with growth-perturbed wing discs rescues the growth rate of other organs in the body, indicating that ecdysone is limiting for their growth, and disrupts the coordination of their growth with growth of the wing discs. Collectively our data demonstrate the existence of a novel growth-coordinating mechanism in Drosophila that synchronizes growth among organs in response to localized growth perturbation.
PLoS Genetics. Nov, 2011 | Pubmed ID: 22102829
Phenotypic plasticity, the ability for a single genotype to generate different phenotypes in response to environmental conditions, is biologically ubiquitous, and yet almost nothing is known of the developmental mechanisms that regulate the extent of a plastic response. In particular, it is unclear why some traits or individuals are highly sensitive to an environmental variable while other traits or individuals are less so. Here we elucidate the developmental mechanisms that regulate the expression of a particularly important form of phenotypic plasticity: the effect of developmental nutrition on organ size. In all animals, developmental nutrition is signaled to growing organs via the insulin-signaling pathway. Drosophila organs differ in their size response to developmental nutrition and this reflects differences in organ-specific insulin-sensitivity. We show that this variation in insulin-sensitivity is regulated at the level of the forkhead transcription factor FOXO, a negative growth regulator that is activated when nutrition and insulin signaling are low. Individual organs appear to attenuate growth suppression in response to low nutrition through an organ-specific reduction in FOXO expression, thereby reducing their nutritional plasticity. We show that FOXO expression is necessary to maintain organ-specific differences in nutritional-plasticity and insulin-sensitivity, while organ-autonomous changes in FOXO expression are sufficient to autonomously alter an organ's nutritional-plasticity and insulin-sensitivity. These data identify a gene (FOXO) that modulates a plastic response through variation in its expression. FOXO is recognized as a key player in the response of size, immunity, and longevity to changes in developmental nutrition, stress, and oxygen levels. FOXO may therefore act as a more general regulator of plasticity. These data indicate that the extent of phenotypic plasticity may be modified by changes in the expression of genes involved in signaling environmental information to developmental processes.
The Effect of Genetic and Environmental Variation on Genital Size in Male Drosophila: Canalized but Developmentally Unstable
PloS One. 2011 | Pubmed ID: 22174784
The genitalia of most male arthropods scale hypoallometrically with body size, that is they are more or less the same size across large and small individuals in a population. Such scaling is expected to arise when genital traits show less variation than somatic traits in response to factors that generate size variation among individuals in a population. Nevertheless, there have been few studies directly examining the relative sensitivity of genital and somatic traits to factors that affect their size. Such studies are key to understanding genital evolution and the evolution of morphological scaling relationships more generally. Previous studies indicate that the size of genital traits in male Drosophila melanogaster show a relatively low response to variation in environmental factors that affect trait size. Here we show that the size of genital traits in male fruit flies also exhibit a relatively low response to variation in genetic factors that affect trait size. Importantly, however, this low response is only to genetic factors that affect body and organ size systemically, not those that affect organ size autonomously. Further, we show that the genital traits do not show low levels of developmental instability, which is the response to stochastic developmental errors that also influence organ size autonomously. We discuss these results in the context of current hypotheses on the proximate and ultimate mechanisms that generate genital hypoallometry.