DEBUNKING DIETS: THE EFFECT OF HIGH-FAT DAIRY ON FERTILITY IN DROSOPHILA MELANOGASTER
It was determined that high-fat dairy intake in both male and female D. melanogaster yields significantly increased fertility in measures of eggs laid, pupae produced, and adults hatched per female fly. Moreover, the second generation of offspring produced by flies consuming dairy exhibited trends in reproductive output almost identical to those of their parents. However, this second generation consumed no dairy whatsoever, only basal fly media. As further analysis of the effect, a new stock of young flies was fed each concentration of dairy, and subsequently dissected. Flies consuming high-fat dairy exhibited heightened intermediate stage development in their egg chambers, while this effect was nowhere near as prevalent in low- and non-fat flies. This could serve as an indicator of increased stem cell production, quicker stem cell division, or an increase in pole plasm size. Imaging is ongoing at UMass Medical School (Worcester, MA) with a focus on the aforementioned potential factors in increased fertility and epigenetic inheritance.