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Why the best parents give birth to the best offspring

Blood sampling of Glossinidae. Credit: Daniel Hargrove

Parents face the trade-off between putting resources into their offspring and using them to increase their chances of survival and increase their offspring. The optimal allocation of resources depends on age. Experienced parents are good at getting food, so they can give more to their offspring. However, because resources are needed to combat “waste”, they are less likely to be inherited in old age.


This pattern of increase / decrease in allocation to offspring is found in many mammals, birds and insects. Bristol scientists, along with Excelter and Oxford colleagues, have discovered that this pattern is an important disease-carrying insect. Glossinidae jump. Glossinidae give birth to young creatures that are about the same size as their mother.

The team worked with a colleague at the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine to study the mother of the Glossinidae in the laboratory for the rest of her life.Now the team Mathematical modelPublished in the journal Bulletin of the Royal Society BTo show how to explain the pattern by changing the pattern Mother’s experience As they get older.

Glossinidae live on blood. Blood is abundant food, but it is difficult to obtain. Insects have to travel a long way to find animals and avoid defenses such as hitting their tails. Glossinidae will be better at getting food through experience, but as their wings wear, they will need more energy to fly. Glossinidae mothers have evolved to respond to these effects when passing fat to their offspring.

Why the best parents give birth to the best offspring

Glossinidae digestive blood. Credit: Daniel Hargrove

“We expect parents to evolve the optimal patterns of resource allocation and maximize them. Successful breedingDr. Antoine Barraud, a researcher at the University of Bristol and now a lecturer at Intertryp in Cirard, France, said: .. “

Dr. Sinead English of the University of Bristol’s Department of Life Sciences and the team leader added: “Our model is the first model to predict the first increase and subsequent decrease in the allocation of resources by parents to their offspring with age.”

The mathematical model applies to all animals with multiple animals descendants In their lives.

It predicts what strategic choices an individual will make depending on the ecosystem. Some species allocate almost everything to each breeding event, while others accumulate resources and reduce the frequency of breeding. The purpose of the project is to explain this diversity.

Why the best parents give birth to the best offspring

Glossinidae gives birth. Credit: Daniel Hargrove

“We hope that this theory will influence future testing using data from long-term studies of wild populations such as red deer, bison, and terns, which allows scientists to invest in lifelong investment by their parents. You can come up with a general theory. “Dr. Barrow

The team is developing a model that contains parasites that infect the glossinidae. A better understanding of these important insects is expected to reduce the transmission of diseases such as sleeping sickness to humans and livestock.


Tropical fly studies show that mother’s age and diet affect offspring health


For more information:
Incorporating the effect of age on energy dynamics predicts a non-linear maternal distribution pattern in repetitive animals. Bulletin of the Royal Society B: Biological Science (2022). DOI: 10.1098 / rspb.2021.1884.. rspb.royalsocietypublishing.or…. 1098 / rspb.2021.1884

Quote: The reason why prime parents give birth to the best offspring (February 15, 2022) is from https://phys.org/news/2022-02-parents-prime-offspring.html on February 15, 2022. Got

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Why the best parents give birth to the best offspring

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