Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS:
Title: The effects of nutritional and social environment on ovarian dynamics and life history strategy in Nauphoeta cinerea
Author: Barrett, Emma Louise Beverley
ISNI:       0000 0004 2673 3595
Awarding Body: University of Exeter
Current Institution: University of Exeter
Date of Award: 2009
Availability of Full Text:
Access from EThOS:
Access from Institution:
The trade-off between gametes and soma is central to life-history evolution. Oosorption has been proposed as a mechanism that can mediate this trade-off. When conditions are not conducive to successful reproduction, females are expected to be able to recoup nutrients from unfertilized oocytes and reinvest them into the somatic processes that promote survival and hence future reproduction. Although positive correlations between oocyte degradation and lifespan have been documented in oviparous insects, the adaptive significance of this process in species with more complex reproductive biology has not been explored. Oocyte degradation via apoptosis (programmed cell death) occurs in response to enforced virginity in females of the ovoviviparous cockroach, Nauphoeta cinerea. Observed apoptosis may represent oosorption, however, an alternative but not mutually exclusive argument is that oocyte apoptosis may represent oocyte ageing and clearance in order to maintain reproductive synchrony. The aim of this thesis was to test the hypothesis that the function of oocyte apoptosis is oosorption in N. cinerea. I found that in addition to enforced virginity, starvation induces oocyte apoptosis. However, the life history outcome following one form of stress is the opposite of the other. Hence, the functional role of oocyte apoptosis appears to be different depending on whether apoptosis is induced through starvation or age. Following a period of starvation-induced apoptosis females exhibit the increase in survival and future reproduction predicted by oosorption. Whereas, following a period of age-induced apoptosis females suffer fecundity and longevity cuts. However, age-induced apoptosis does not appear to simply be cellular ageing and clearance. In conjugation with age-induced apoptosis, ovariole number declines whilst the size of surviving oocytes increases. Hence, it appears that resources from sacrificed oocytes are being recycled into the survivors, and that this reinvestment in current reproduction trade-offs with future reproductive capacity. My thesis shows the importance of studying proximal mechanisms alongside more traditional measures of life history, as the relationship between isolated biological levels is not always clear.
Supervisor: Moore, Patricia J. ; Moore, Allen J. Sponsor: NERC
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Life history ; Trade offs ; Nauphoeta cinerea ; Oosorption ; Aging ; Starvation ; zVAD.fmk ; Apoptosis ; Ovary ; Oocyte ; Ovariole number ; Pheromones