What is it about?

This study explains the effect of water shortage on the reproductive fitness of insects and associated pathways. We did these experiments on tropical fruit-fly Drosophila melanogaster. Being small in size and ectotherm makes these and other tropical insects highly susceptible to varying body water levels primarily related to temperature changes and atmospheric humidity.

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Why is it important?

Insects hold considerable ecological and agricultural importance. Being small in size and ectotherm makes these and other tropical insects highly susceptible to drought. As the planet is warming and these changed environments will place insects’ overall fitness at risk. This study attempts to understand temperature changes and its effect on reproductive output. Environmental stressors are examples of such factors which have a substantial and significant influence on insect reproductive fitness. Hence, in order to do justice to the importance that they hold in our ecosystem, it is essential that we have an understanding of the factors that impact their reproductive fitness.


Drosophila has been around us (i.e. labs) for more than 100 years and has been at the forefront of major discoveries in biological sciences. These tiny flies have been instrumental in understanding organism*environment interactions. Particularly, Drosophila melanogaster originated in east central Africa and colonised most of the continents across this globe. While colonising they adapted to local environmental conditions. To understand organismal responses to climate change its crucial to understand a organism which has vast biological literature and commonly found across globe. Findings from this study could be seen as general findings associating to other insects.

Dr Subhash Rajpurohit
Ahmedabad University

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: No water, no mating: Connecting dots from behaviour to pathways, PLoS ONE, June 2021, PLOS, DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0252920.
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