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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: Maintaining Quality and Extending Shelf and Shipping Life of Fresh Fruit with No or Minimal Synthetic Pesticide Inputs

Location: Commodity Protection and Quality

Title: Nectarine promotes longevity in Drosophila melanogaster

Authors
item Olga, Boyd -
item Weng, Peter -
item Sun, Xiaoping -
item Alberico, Thomas -
item Laslo, Marla -
item Obenland, David
item Zou, Sige -

Submitted to: Journal of Free Radical Biology and Medicine
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: March 8, 2011
Publication Date: June 1, 2011
Citation: Olga, B., Weng, P., Sun, X., Alberico, T., Laslo, M., Obenland, D.M., Zou, S. 2011. Nectarine promotes longevity in Drosophila melanogaster. Journal of Free Radical Biology and Medicine. 50(11):1669-1678.

Interpretive Summary: Nectarines contain compounds that are believed to benefit human health, although there have been no studies that conclusively demonstrate the health benefits of eating nectarines. In this study the effect of nectarine consumption on the lifespan and reproduction of fruit flies was investigated to provide an initial means for investigating the health effects of nectarines, using these insects as a model system. Fruit flies were fed standard, dietary restriction, or high fat diets supplemented with 0, 2 or 4% nectarine extract. Lifespan, food intake, movement and reproductive ability were measured in the fruit flies that were ingesting these different diets. It was found that 4% nectarine extract extended the lifespan of female fruit flies, regardless of diet, but that this response was not consistently observed in the male fruit flies. The lifespan increase was associated with an increase in reproductive ability and changes of expression in genes important to glucose metabolism and oxidative stress metabolism. These findings provide information that aids understanding of the health effects of nectarines in the human diet.

Technical Abstract: Aging is associated with increased oxidative damage and gradual decline of physiology function with age, and is modulated by numerous genetic and environmental factors. Functional fruits are thought to be ideal candidates for promoting longevity and healthspan due to their high contents of polyphenols known to have high antioxidant capacities and other bioactivities. However, few fruits have been experimentally shown to improve survival and healthspan in animals. Here we investigate the effect of nectarine, a widely grown and consumed fruit in the world, on lifespan and healthspan in Drosophila melanogaster. The wild-type Canton S flies were fed the standard, dietary restriction (DR) and high fat fly diets supplemented with 0, 2 and 4% of a nectarine extract. Lifespan, food intake, locomotion and fecundity were measured in flies under these conditions. Gene expression changes induced by nectarine were measured for selected genes involved in glucose metabolism, oxidative stress response and protein synthesis. We also measured lifespan and locomotion of superoxide dismutase 1 (sod1) mutant flies on the standard fly diet supplemented with 0, 2 and 4% nectarine. We found that 4% nectarine extended lifespan of female wild-type flies fed the standard, DR and high fat diets. This lifespan extension was associated with an increase of fecundity and decreases of expression of a key gluconeogenesis gene, PEPCK, and several oxidative stress response genes, including peroxiredoxins. Moreover, nectarine improved the survival of sod1 mutant flies. These findings suggest that nectarine can promote longevity and healthspan partly through modulating glucose metabolism and reducing oxidative damage.

Last Modified: 9/2/2014