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Exp Gerontol. 2009 May;44(5):307-15. doi: 10.1016/j.exger.2009.02.012. Epub 2009 Mar 4.

Bivalve models of aging and the determination of molluscan lifespans.

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1
Alfred-Wegener-Institute for Polar and Marine Research, Am Handelshafen 12, 27570 Bremerhaven, Germany. Doris.abele@awi.de

Abstract

Bivalves are newly discovered models of natural aging. This invertebrate group includes species with the longest metazoan lifespan approaching 400 y, as well as species of swimming and sessile lifestyles that live just for 1 y. Bivalves from natural populations can be aged by shell growth bands formed at regular intervals of time. This enables the study of abiotic and biotic environment factors (temperature, salinity, predator and physical disturbance) on senescence and fitness in natural populations, and distinguishes the impact of extrinsic effectors from intrinsic (genetic) determinants of animal aging. Extreme longevity of some bivalve models may help to analyze general metabolic strategies thought to be life prolonging, like the transient depression of metabolism, which forms part of natural behaviour in these species. Thus, seasonal food shortage experienced by benthic filter feeding bivalves in polar and temperate seas may mimic caloric restriction in vertebrates. Incidence of malignant neoplasms in bivalves needs to be investigated, to determine the implication of late acting mutations for bivalve longevity. Finally, bivalves are applicable models for testing the implication of heterozygosity of multiple genes for physiological tolerance, adaptability (heterozygote superiority), and life expectancy.

PMID:
19268513
DOI:
10.1016/j.exger.2009.02.012
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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