Sci. Aging Knowl. Environ., 22 May 2002
Vol. 2002, Issue 20, p. pe6
[DOI: 10.1126/sageke.2002.20.pe6]


Genes, Culture, and Aging Flies--What the Lab Can and Cannot Tell Us About Natural Genetic Variation for Senescence

Christine C. Spencer , and Daniel E. L. Promislow

The authors are in the Department of Genetics at the University of Georgia, Athens, GA 30602, USA. E-mail: (D.E.L.P.);2002/20/pe6

Key Words: laboratory culture • Drosophila • evolution • longevity genes • senescence • trade-offs

Abstract: Model organisms cultured in the lab provide a powerful way to explore basic biological processes. However, lab culture can select for high early fecundity and dramatically shorten the life-span of lab organisms. Studies that use these short-lived organisms to identify aging-related genes might identify genes that simply restore the organism's original life-span. These results might not be fully relevant to wild populations. Experiments that reduce selection for shorter life-span or seek genes in naturally long-lived cohorts should lead to a more accurate understanding of aging.

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Science of Aging Knowledge Environment. ISSN 1539-6150