Developmental stability is the ability of an individual to maintain proper development despite various environmental conditions, and thus has important implications for the health of an individual. Individuals with less stable development are thought to be at higher risk for developing non-communicable disease, such as diabetes mellitus and Alzheimer’s disease, during adolescence and adulthood. In bilateral organisms, developmental stability can be assessed by measuring deviations from perfect symmetry between the left and right sides of the body, known as Fluctuating Asymmetry. In this project, we measured the developmental rate and Fluctuating Asymmetry of Drosophila melanogaster while subjected to varying metabolic conditions differing by sucrose content. Analysis of Fluctuating Asymmetry observed between drosophila populations subjected to different concentrations of sucrose did not yield significant results; however, various trends in the data elucidated the interactions between developmental stability, metabolic stress, and developmental rate. By working to further establish a link between these factors, this project supports the development of cost-effective early screening methods for diabetes mellitus and related diseases.
Reaver, Carrie N., "Identifying Fluctuating Asymmetry and Developmental Rate as Indicators of Developmental Stability in Drosophila Melanogaster" (2020). Longwood Senior Theses. 3.