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Paternal and maternal effects in a mosquito: A bridge for life history transition
  • Kylie Zirbel Yanchula,
  • Barry Alto
Kylie Zirbel Yanchula
University of Florida
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Barry Alto
University of Florida
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Abstract

Parental (transgenerational) effects occur when the conditions experienced by a mother or father contribute to offspring phenotype. Here we show that parental larval diet in mosquitoes, Aedes aegypti, results in differential allocation of resources in offspring of parents depending on the nutritional condition (quality) of their mate. Maternal effects influenced the number of eggs produced by females as well as their lipid investment. Low nutrient females mated with high nutrient males laid eggs with significantly higher lipid content than those laid by high nutrient females. Paternal effects showed that when high nutrient males mated with low nutrient females, resulting eggs had higher lipid content than when low nutrient males mated with low nutrient females. Overall, our results are consistent with a pattern predicted by the differential allocation of resources hypothesis, when females experience nutritional deprivation, which asserts that mate quality directly influences reproductive allocation.