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Exp Gerontol. 2006 Apr;41(4):448-56. Epub 2006 Mar 3.

Natural variation in replicative and chronological life spans of Saccharomyces cerevisiae.

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Center for Aging and Development Biology, University of Rochester, 601 Elmwood Avenue, Box 645, Rochester, NY 14642, USA.


Natural variation in the lifespan of natural yeast populations has not been systematically investigated. Here, we have quantified the variation in the replicative and chronological life spans (RLS and CLS) in natural isolates of Saccharomyces cerevisiae and found that genotypic variation accounts for about 22% of the total variation of RLS. Strikingly, the average RLS of 14 natural isolates is about 30% longer than that of 13 laboratory strains (32 versus 21 cell divisions). As is the case for aging in mammals, there is a negative correlation between the logarithmic transformation of the initial mortality rate and the Gompertz coefficient for RLS. Thus this characteristic feature of aging is conserved from yeast to mammals. The average CLS of the natural isolates is about 7 days, significantly shorter than that of the laboratory strains. There is no correlation between RLS and CLS in natural isolates. Possible reasons for the differences between natural and laboratory strains are discussed.

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