Lifespan, QTLs, age-specificity, and pleiotropy in Drosophila

Mech Ageing Dev. 2002 Jan;123(2-3):81-93. doi: 10.1016/s0047-6374(01)00345-1.


We have constructed a set of 120 recombinant inbred lines for use in studies of the genetics of lifespan in Drosophila. The lines are derived from Luckinbill and Clare's (Heredity 55 (1985) 9) artificial selection experiment for increased lifespan. Inbred lines retain the relative lifespan characteristics of the experimental and control stocks from which they are derived. Mapping experiments suggest that a small number of QTLs accounts for much of the selection response. The age-specificity of genetic effects is best visualized in three-dimensional QTL maps of age-specific mortality. QTLs are shared by males and females, and have effects on age-specific mortality that are positively correlated across ages, with different times of onset. There is evidence for positively correlated pleiotropic effects of lifespan QTLs on mid-life fertility and resistance to an oxidizing chemical, and a striking lack of evidence for negative pleiotropy.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Chromosome Mapping
  • Drosophila melanogaster / genetics*
  • Drosophila melanogaster / physiology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Life Expectancy
  • Male
  • Quantitative Trait, Heritable*
  • Recombination, Genetic