Genetic analysis of extended life span in Drosophila melanogaster. I. RAPD screen for genetic divergence between selected and control lines

Genetica. 1998;104(1):21-32. doi: 10.1023/a:1003442619700.


Using lines selected for long life by Luckinbil and his co-workers, we screened two selected and two control lines for allelic frequency differences at 1200 randomly chosen RAPD marker loci. Twenty-three marker loci showed frequency differences in excess of 80%, and five were greater than 90%. Age-specific effects of the five most differentiated loci were estimated by collecting complete survival data in segregating backcross populations. Alleles at four of the five marker loci were associated with significant extension of life span in males, while two marker loci had significant effects in females. Eighty percent of the total selection response in males can be explained by the identified QTL's, under the assumption of additivity. The N14+ marker allele accounted for a 12-day life span extension in males, but had little effect in females. Both sex-limited and sex-shared effects were observed. Analysis of age-specific mortality rates suggests that life span extension occurs by a combination of genetic factors that moderate both the level of mortality and the rate at which mortality increases with age.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Aging / genetics*
  • Animals
  • Crosses, Genetic
  • Drosophila melanogaster / genetics*
  • Drosophila melanogaster / physiology
  • Female
  • Genetic Markers
  • Life Expectancy
  • Male
  • Mortality
  • Random Amplified Polymorphic DNA Technique*
  • Selection, Genetic


  • Genetic Markers