We examined the association between body mass and metabolic rate in Drosophila melanogaster under a variety of conditions. These included comparisons of body mass and metabolic rate in flies from different laboratory lines measured at different ages, over different metabolic sampling periods, and comparisons using wet versus dry mass data. In addition, the relationship between body mass and metabolic rate was determined for flies recently collected from wild populations. In no case was there a significant correlation between body mass and metabolic rate. These results indicate that care must be taken when attempting to account for the effects of body mass on metabolic rate. Expressing such data in mass-specific units may be an inappropriate method of attempting to control for the effects of differences in body mass.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
Technical assistance from D. Tanner, J. Silva and S. Noorbaluchi helped greatly with this research and C. Martínez del Rio and three anonymous reviewers provided insightful comments on the manuscript. This research was supported by grants from the National Institutes of Health (AG11722, AG08761, AG11659).
- Body mass
- Drosophila melanogaster
- Metabolic rate