This project will examine the molecular basis of variation in muscle contractile performance in a model organism, the dragonfly, and will assess the impact of such variation on the organism's ecological success. One primary focus is to determine how variation created by alternative splicing of genes at the RNA level affects performance at the cellular, tissue, and whole-organism levels. Knowledge of these mechanistic pathways will be used to determine how muscle performance is adjusted in response to environmental variation, and to the presence of gregarine parasites that infect the gut and reduce energy intake. Further, differential effects of the resultant muscle performance on flight performance will be assessed, and, in turn, effects of flight performance on male mating success and the ability of males to defend desirable territories will be assessed. Together, these results will greatly enhance our knowledge of mechanisms that create variation in muscle and locomotor performance, and the ecological context in which these mechanisms operate.
|Effective start/end date||5/1/01 → 4/30/05|
- National Science Foundation: $386,000.00