• Open Access

Dietary restriction alters demographic but not behavioral aging in Drosophila


Michael S. Grotewiel, Department of Human Genetics, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, VA 23298, USA. Tel.: 804 828 9632 x160; fax: 804 828 3760; e-mail: msgrotewiel@vcu.edu


Dietary restriction extends lifespan substantially in numerous species including Drosophila. However, it is unclear whether dietary restriction in flies impacts age-related functional declines in conjunction with its effects on lifespan. Here, we address this issue by assessing the effect of dietary restriction on lifespan and behavioral senescence in two wild-type strains, in our standard white laboratory stock, and in short-lived flies with reduced expression of superoxide dismutase 2. As expected, dietary restriction extended lifespan in all of these strains. The effect of dietary restriction on lifespan varied with genetic background, ranging from 40 to 90% extension of median lifespan in the seven strains tested. Interestingly, despite its robust positive effects on lifespan, dietary restriction had no substantive effects on senescence of behavior in any of the strains in our studies. Our results suggest that dietary restriction does not have a global impact on aging in Drosophila and support the hypothesis that lifespan and behavioral senescence are not driven by identical mechanisms.