Genotype-by-environment effects on sperm traits
Data collection for this project is currently underway. We are manipulating protein availability in the diet (via the addition or removal of yeast) in order to determine how protein deficiency/excess affects sperm traits such as morphology, viability, and metabolism. For this project we will use a set of sequenced inbred lines from the Drosophila Genetic Reference Panel. The aim is to be able to calculate heritabilities of sperm traits, and the heritability of plasticity in these traits. We also hope to be able to identify specific gene variants that contribute to the sperm phenotype using genome-wide association tests.
Preliminary data suggest that reduced yeast has a less pronounced negative effect on fitness than increased yeast, and that males from the reduced yeast treatment do poorly in sperm competition, but are just as successful in obtaining matings as control males.