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Mech Ageing Dev. 2006 Oct;127(10):802-7. Epub 2006 Aug 30.

Consequences of artificial selection on pre-adult development for adult lifespan under benign conditions in the butterfly Bicyclus anynana.

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1
Institute of Biology, Leiden University, NL-2311 GP Leiden, The Netherlands. j.pijpe@biology.leidenuniv.nl

Abstract

The genetic architecture underlying the regulation of lifespan is shaped by evolutionary history, thus, including selection in past environments. In particular, the developmental environment is important, because selection pressure for survival is highest during development. From this life-history point of view, the ageing phenotype is the outcome of these factors, and links between the developmental and adult life stage are expected. In this study, we specifically address whether genetic variation in pre-adult traits affects adult lifespan. We use lines artificially selected for divergence in development time, pupal mass or egg size, thus, exploiting the standing genetic variation in pre-adult traits present in natural populations of Bicyclus anynana. We then reared individuals from each line and the unselected base population in a common environment, and recorded each selected trait and adult longevity. In general, differences in adult lifespan across selection lines were small. This is not surprising given the benign conditions used here. The minor differences in adult survival were only partially the result of environmental influences, as indicated by low phenotypic correlations. However, significant genetic correlations point to possible intrinsic mechanisms involved in lifespan regulation. Genetic variation in egg mass or pupal mass did not contribute to variation in lifespan. However, we found a negative genetic correlation between developmental time and lifespan, suggesting a genetic coupling of faster development with a longer adult lifespan in this species. A follow-up study with an identical set-up that introduces stress during development should give a more detailed insight into the role of development in the regulation of lifespan.

PMID:
16939688
DOI:
10.1016/j.mad.2006.07.006
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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