Sci. Aging Knowl. Environ., 3 October 2001
Vol. 2001, Issue 1, p. cp6


Genetic Analysis of Life-Span in Caenorhabditis elegans

Thomas E. Johnson , and William B. Wood;2001/1/cp6

Abstract: Crosses between Bristol and Bergerac strains of the self-fertilizing hermaphroditic nematode Caenorhabditis elegans do not show the heterosis effects for life-span that complicate analysis of interstrain crosses with Drosophila or mice. Instead, they yield Fl progeny with life-spans similar to those of the parent strains. By analysis of life-span variation among progeny F2 populations from such crosses and by two independent analyses of life-spans among recombinant inbred lines derived from F2 individuals by 18 rounds of self-fertilization, we estimate that the heritability of life-span in C. elegans is between 20 and 50%. Recombinant inbred lines show a range in mean life-spans of 10 to 31 days as compared with life-spans of about 18 days for each of the two parental strains. We conclude that life-span variation in C. elegans has a substantial genetic component and that this organism offers promising opportunities for selective breeding of longer-lived strains and genetic analysis of senescence.

Reproduced by permission.

Thomas E. Johnson, William B. Wood, Genetic Analysis of Life-Span in Caenorhabditis elegans. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 79, 6603-6607 (1982).

Science of Aging Knowledge Environment. ISSN 1539-6150