Dietary salt supplementation adversely affects thermal acclimation responses of flight ability in Drosophila melanogaster

Published: 6 June 2022| Version 1 | DOI: 10.17632/vcnchrb7rh.1
Elizabeth Huisamen, Herve Colinet, Minette Karsten, John Terblanche


Raw data for Dietary salt supplementation adversely affects thermal acclimation responses of flight ability in Drosophila melanogaster (manuscript INSPHY-D-22-00024R1)  published in the Journal of Insect Physiology. Abstract: Cold acclimation may enhance low temperature flight ability, and salt loading can alter an insects’ cold tolerance by affecting their ability to maintain ion balance in the cold. Presently however, it remains unclear if dietary salt impacts thermal acclimation of flight ability in insects. Here, we examined the effect of a combination of dietary salt loading (either NaCl or KCl) and low temperature exposure on the flight ability of Drosophila melanogaster at low (15 °C) and benign (optimal, 22 °C) temperatures. Additionally, we determined whether dietary salt supplementation translates into increased K+ and Na+ levels in the bodies of D. melanogaster. Lastly, we determined whether salt supplementation impacts body mass and wing morphology, to ascertain whether any changes in flight ability were potentially driven by flight-related morphometric variation. In control flies, we find that cold acclimation enhances low temperature flight ability over non-acclimated flies confirming the beneficial acclimation hypothesis (BAH). By contrast, flies supplemented with KCl that were cold acclimated and tested at a cold temperature had the lowest flight ability, suggesting that excess dietary KCl during development negates the beneficial cold acclimation process that would have otherwise taken place. Overall, the NaCl-supplemented flies and the control group had the greatest flight ability, whilst those with the KCl-supplemented diet had the lowest. Dietary salt supplementation translated into increased Na+ and K+ concentration in the body tissues of flies, confirming that dietary shifts are reflected in changes in body composition and are not simply regulated out of the body by homeostasis over the course of development. Flies fed with a KCl-supplemented diet tended to be larger with larger wings, whilst those reared on the control or NaCl-supplemented diet were smaller with smaller wings. Additionally, the flies with greater flight ability tended to be smaller and have lower WL. In conclusion, dietary salts affected wing morphology as well as ions balance, and dietary KCl seemed to have a detrimental effect on cold acclimation responses of flight ability in D. melanogaster. Data deposited: flight data (0 or 1) of Drosophila melanogaster in response to acclimation and dietary salt supplementation at two assay temperatures (Drosophila flight data.xlsx), an Excel file containing whole body measurements of Na, Mg, P, K, Ca, Fe present in the bodies of Drosophila melanogaster, obtained through ICP-MS analysis (ICP MS results.xlsx) and an Excel file containing wing measurements and mass data for Drosophila melanogaster from different treatments (Wing measurements.xlsx). Scripts: Drosophila flight data.R, Ions.R and Wing.measrements.R



Entomology, Insect Physiology