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In experimental evolution, we impose functional demands on laboratory populations of model organisms using selection. After enough generations of such selection, the resulting populations constitute excellent material for physiological research. An intense selection regime for increased starvation resistance was imposed on 10 large outbred populations. We observed the selection responses of starvation and desiccation resistance, metabolic reserves, and heart robustness via electrical pacing. Furthermore, we sequenced the pooled genomes of these populations. As expected, significant increases in starvation resistance and lipid content were found in our 10 intensely selected SCO populations. The selection regime also improved desiccation resistance, water content, and glycogen content among these populations. Additionally, the average rate of cardiac arrests in our 10 obese SCO populations was double the rate of the 10 ancestral CO populations. Age-specific mortality rates were increased at early adult ages by selection. Genomic analysis revealed a large number of single nucleotide polymorphisms across the genome that changed in frequency as a result of selection. These genomic results were similar to those obtained in our laboratory from less direct selection procedures. The combination of extensive genomic and phenotypic differentiation between these 10 populations and their ancestors makes them a powerful system for the analysis of the physiological underpinnings of starvation resistance.
This article was published in the following journal.
Name: Physiological and biochemical zoology : PBZ
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