Complexity of biological scaling suggests an absence of systematic trade-offs between sensory modalities in Drosophila

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
30 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

The structure of nervous and sensory systems reflects the interactions between selection pressures and functional integration, developmental constraints, and energetic costs1,2. How these interactions play out over time is a central question in evolutionary neurobiology, put simply; how do brains evolve, and why do they evolve that way? To address this question, a range of data is needed, spanning development, detailed anatomy and behaviour, ideally across ecologically diverse clades of species to examine how traits change at a phylogenetic scale3. Recently, Keesey et al.4 provided a taste of the kind of expansive, integrative studies required. By combining data on sensory structures across ~60 Drosophila with neuroanatomical, behavioural and developmental data from selected species, they provide an in-depth examination of the evolution of Drosophila sensory and brain structure. A central conclusion drawn from these analyses was that visual and olfactory structures appear to be consistently targeted for expansion at the expense of one another – both in peripheral and central neural tissue. This hints at a pervasive underlying constraint on the sensory biology of Drosophila imposed by developmental trade-offs in the eye-antennal imaginal disc. Such a trade-off could suggest that some trait combinations are unobtainable, potentially impacting broader ecological patterns across the genus5. Here, we suggest the approach taken in the analyses negates key features and major shifts in biological scaling6, which, when re-examined in detail, present a more complex pattern of neural diversity, inconsistent with systematic trade-offs.
Original languageEnglish
Article number2944
Pages (from-to)2944
JournalNature Communications
Volume13
Issue number1
Early online date26 May 2022
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We thank Ian Keesey, Markus Knaden, and Bill Hansson, lead authors of the original publication, for their openness, cooperation and encouragement as well as Nico Posnien who proofread an earlier version of this manuscript. We also thank Francesco Cicconardi for providing a converted ultrametric tree and Andrew Meade for helpful replies regarding BayesTraits, as well as the EBaB lab for helpful discussions. M.S.F. is supported by a Walter-Benjamin Fellowship from the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (FA 1818/1-1). S.H.M. is supported by a NERC IRF (NE/N014936/1) and ERC Starter Grant (758508).

Funding Information:
We thank Ian Keesey, Markus Knaden, and Bill Hansson, lead authors of the original publication, for their openness, cooperation and encouragement as well as Nico Posnien who proofread an earlier version of this manuscript. We also thank Francesco Cicconardi for providing a converted ultrametric tree and Andrew Meade for helpful replies regarding BayesTraits, as well as the EBaB lab for helpful discussions. M.S.F. is supported by a Walter-Benjamin Fellowship from the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (FA 1818/1-1). S.H.M. is supported by a NERC IRF (NE/N014936/1) and ERC Starter Grant (758508).

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Complexity of biological scaling suggests an absence of systematic trade-offs between sensory modalities in Drosophila'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this