Amino acid modulation of lifespan and reproduction in Drosophila

Katja M. Hoedjes, Marisa A. Rodrigues, Thomas Flatt

Research output: Contribution to JournalReview articleAcademicpeer-review


Manipulating amino acid (AA) intake in Drosophila can profoundly affect lifespan and reproduction. Remarkably, AA manipulation can uncouple the commonly observed trade-off between these traits. This finding seems to challenge the idea that this trade-off is due to competitive resource allocation, but here we argue that this view might be too simplistic. We also discuss the mechanisms of the AA response, mediated by the IIS/TOR and GCN2 pathways. Elucidating how these pathways respond to specific AA will likely yield important insights into how AA modulate the reproduction-lifespan relationship. The Drosophila model offers powerful genetic tools, combined with options for precise diet manipulation, to address these fundamental questions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)118-122
Number of pages5
JournalCurrent Opinion in Insect Science
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2017
Externally publishedYes


We thank Carlos Ribeiro and Matt Piper for their kind invitation to contribute this paper, and Felix Zajitschek for helpful comments. This paper was written as part of the research carried out by the DFG Collaborative Research Unit (RU) ‘Sociality and the Reversal of the Fecundity-longevity Trade-off’ (DFG FOR 2281). Our research is supported by the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF grants # PP00P3_133641 ; PP00P3_165836 ; 310030E-164207 to TF) and a Marie Sklodowska Curie Fellowship (# 701949 ) from the EU H2020 program (to KMH).

FundersFunder number
EU H2020
Horizon 2020 Framework Programme701949
Deutsche ForschungsgemeinschaftFOR 2281
Schweizerischer Nationalfonds zur Förderung der Wissenschaftlichen ForschungPP00P3_133641, PP00P3_165836, 310030E-164207


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