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. 2014 Jul 8;5:4338.
doi: 10.1038/ncomms5338.

Genome-wide Analysis in Drosophila Reveals Age-Specific Effects of SNPs on Fitness Traits

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Genome-wide Analysis in Drosophila Reveals Age-Specific Effects of SNPs on Fitness Traits

Mary F Durham et al. Nat Commun. .

Abstract

Most organisms exhibit senescence; a decline in physiological function with age. In nature, rates of senescence vary extensively among individuals and this variation has a significant genetic component; however, we know little about the genes underlying senescence. Here we show the first evidence that individual alleles influence fecundity in an age-specific manner and so the genetic basis of natural variation in fecundity changes dramatically with age. We complete a genome-wide association to identify single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) affecting lifespan and age-specific fecundity using the Drosophila melanogaster Genetic Reference Panel. We identify 1,031 SNPs affecting fecundity and 52 influencing lifespan. Only one SNP is associated with both early- and late-age fecundity. The age-specific effect of candidate genes on fecundity is validated using RNA interference. In addition, there is a dramatic increase in the number of SNPs influencing fecundity with age. This result provides support for the mutation accumulation theory of aging.

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