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The influence of L-arginine on the self-medication behaviour of Drosophila Melanogaster larvae

The influence of L-arginine on the self-medication behaviour of Drosophila Melanogaster larvae
The influence of L-arginine on the self-medication behaviour of Drosophila Melanogaster larvae
The theory of self-medication works on the premise that sick animals will change their diet to incorporate food substances that are not part of their usual diet, that will cure or alleviate the disease. It is a behaviour that is rarely seen in healthy animals. Immunonutrition is another form of self -medication usually used by humans and is the use of specific nutrients to alleviate symptoms, stimulate the immune system and promote recovery. In this study we investigate the self-medication ability of Drosophila melanogaster larvae when given the choice of food containing differing concentrations of L-arginine. L-arginine is essential amino acid known to benefit the D. melanogaster immune system. L-arginine concentrations of up to 50mM promote the encapsulation response in D. melanogaster parasitised by the endoparasitic wasp Asobara tabida with a maximum encapsulation rate achieved with 50 mM L-arginine. In a series of choice tests using 0mM, 10mM, 50mM and 250mM L-arginine it was established that both unparasitised and parasitised larvae were able to discriminate between different L-arginine concentrations and parasitised larvae discriminated in favour of 50mM L-arginine. This suggests that self-medication behaviour may occur in parasitised D. melanogaster larvae with regards to L-arginine.
Robertson, Elizabeth
80d0f6ff-a50b-4fe4-a968-281d74b1e5de
Robertson, Elizabeth
80d0f6ff-a50b-4fe4-a968-281d74b1e5de
Kraaijeveld, Alex
4af1791a-15cf-48b9-9fd8-b3a7fb450409

(2013) The influence of L-arginine on the self-medication behaviour of Drosophila Melanogaster larvae. University of Southampton, Biological Sciences, Masters Thesis, 121pp.

Record type: Thesis (Masters)

Abstract

The theory of self-medication works on the premise that sick animals will change their diet to incorporate food substances that are not part of their usual diet, that will cure or alleviate the disease. It is a behaviour that is rarely seen in healthy animals. Immunonutrition is another form of self -medication usually used by humans and is the use of specific nutrients to alleviate symptoms, stimulate the immune system and promote recovery. In this study we investigate the self-medication ability of Drosophila melanogaster larvae when given the choice of food containing differing concentrations of L-arginine. L-arginine is essential amino acid known to benefit the D. melanogaster immune system. L-arginine concentrations of up to 50mM promote the encapsulation response in D. melanogaster parasitised by the endoparasitic wasp Asobara tabida with a maximum encapsulation rate achieved with 50 mM L-arginine. In a series of choice tests using 0mM, 10mM, 50mM and 250mM L-arginine it was established that both unparasitised and parasitised larvae were able to discriminate between different L-arginine concentrations and parasitised larvae discriminated in favour of 50mM L-arginine. This suggests that self-medication behaviour may occur in parasitised D. melanogaster larvae with regards to L-arginine.

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More information

Published date: 10 January 2013
Organisations: University of Southampton, Centre for Biological Sciences

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 361032
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/361032
PURE UUID: 66f7143e-001d-4fa4-b0c0-4d8a57aa7117
ORCID for Alex Kraaijeveld: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-8543-2640

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 13 Jan 2014 16:44
Last modified: 06 Jun 2018 12:41

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Contributors

Author: Elizabeth Robertson
Thesis advisor: Alex Kraaijeveld ORCID iD

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