Reproductive homeostasis and senescence in Drosophila melanogaster

James W. Curtsinger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


The homeostatic properties of reproduction in aging female Drosophila melanogaster are investigated. Classic studies based on cohort analysis suggest that homeostatic capacity declines gradually as daily oviposition rates decline in aging flies. Analysis at the level of individuals gives a very different picture: reproductive homeostasis remains relatively constant for most of adult life until a critical point when oviposition either ceases entirely or continues in dysregulated fashion. The collapse of homeostatic capacity is abrupt. Enhanced homeostasis is associated with increased lifetime fecundity and improved prospects for survival. The fractal concept of lacunarity can be used to parameterize the “roughness” of individual fecundity trajectories and is inversely related to homeostatic capacity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1533-1538
Number of pages6
JournalJournals of Gerontology - Series A Biological Sciences and Medical Sciences
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 1 2019

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
I thank A. Khazaeli (University of Minnesota) for comments on an early version of this article.

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s) 2018. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of The Gerontological Society of America. All rights reserved.


  • Fecundity trajectory
  • Lacunarity
  • Life history
  • Oviposition
  • Retirement

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