Navigation Links
Inheritance of lifespan is sex-dependent in fruit flies
Date:9/13/2013

This news release is available in German.

Like mother, like daughter; like father, like son. Evolutionary biologists at the universities in Bielefeld (Germany) and Uppsala (Sweden) have now shown that this proverb also applies to inheriting a long life at least for fruit flies (Drosophila). The research team found that the descendants of these insects mostly inherit their lifespan from their own sex: male descendants will very probably live about as long as their fathers; female descendants, about as long as their mothers. The scientists have published their findings on Thursday 12 September in the renowned journal American Naturalist".

The new study by the GermanSwedish research team has turned a previous assumption by biologists and physicians upside down: up to now, they had thought that the genetic risk of a disease was equally strong in both female and male descendants.

The study proceeded from the assumption that the average life expectancy of women and men differs this may be for genetic reasons but also due to different lifestyles. The GermanSwedish research team wanted to find out how far this sex difference in the lifespan depends on the genetic make-up.

To carry out their experiments, the researchers intervened in the heredity of fruit flies by cross-breeding them with special fly mutants. This enabled them to breed 50 hemi-clones; that is, groups of individuals in whom one-half of the genetic make-up is absolutely identical, whereas the other half is completely unrelated. From each hemi-clone, the researchers determined the lifespan of 400 females and 400 males. 'What's special about this approach is that it enables us to measure the influence of this 50 per cent identical genetic make-up in both sexes', says Dr. Holger Schielzeth from the Faculty of Biology one of the authors of the study.

The authors then used the data from the hemi-cloned fruit flies to read off how similar the individuals in a hemi-clone are and how far females and males from one hemi-clone share the same lifespan. Results showed that the lifespan was very similar within sexes, whereas the calculated relation between sexes was only slight. Hence, Methuselah genes in the father exert only a limited influence on female descendants at least in fruit flies. Vice versa, particularly long-lived females do not necessarily have long-lived brothers, fathers, or sons. Approximately three-quarters of the genetic components of life expectation are effective only within the same sex.

The researchers conclude that the risk of a fatal hereditary disease is passed on above all within the same sex. 'Gene variants that could be problematic for one sex seem to have only a comparatively low influence on the life expectation of the other sex', says Holger Schielzeth. In principle, this finding could also generalize to human beings, because human life expectancy is also hereditary. According to Schielzeth, this sex-specific heredity may also be relevant for medicine, and that therapies should pay more attention to sex-specific risks.


'/>"/>

Contact: Dr. Holger Schielzeth
holger.schielzeth@uni-bielefeld.de
49-521-106-2820
University of Bielefeld
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Defying the laws of Mendelian inheritance
2. Herbal extract boosts fruit fly lifespan by nearly 25 percent, UCI study finds
3. Lifespan-extending drug given late in life reverses age-related heart disease in mice
4. Ease of access improves fruit and vegetable consumption
5. Red delicious or wolf apple? Brazilian savanna fruits high in antioxidants
6. Latino families in study eat more fruits and veggies, drink less soda
7. The worlds favorite fruit only better-tasting and longer-lasting
8. Is the humble fig more than just a fruit?
9. Diverse bacteria on fresh fruits, vegetables vary with produce type, farming practices
10. Study offers new insights on invasive fly threatening US fruit crops
11. Wild pollinators increase crop fruit set regardless of honey bees
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:3/15/2016)... , March 15, 2016 Yissum Research ... the technology-transfer company of the Hebrew University, announced today ... remote sensing technology of various human biological indicators. Neteera ... $2.0 million from private investors. ... on the detection of electromagnetic emissions from sweat ducts, ...
(Date:3/11/2016)... , March 11, 2016 ... new market research report "Image Recognition Market by Technology ... (Marketing and Advertising), by Deployment Type (On-Premises and Cloud), ... To 2022", published by MarketsandMarkets, the global market is ... to USD 29.98 Billion by 2020, at a CAGR ...
(Date:3/9/2016)... -- Nigeria . Recently, the ... public service employees either did not exist with their ...    --> Nigeria . Recently, ... 23,000 public service employees either did not exist with ... unlawfully.    --> DERMALOG, the biometrics innovation ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:5/25/2016)... ... May 25, 2016 , ... Founder ... double board-certified in surgery and surgery of the hand by the National Board ... stranger to going above and beyond in his pursuit of providing the most ...
(Date:5/25/2016)... ... 25, 2016 , ... Lady had been battling arthritis since the age of ... left knee. Lady’s owner Hannah sought the help of Dr Jeff Christiansen of ... her cruciate ligament and help with the pain of Lady’s arthritis. Dr Christiansen suggested ...
(Date:5/24/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... May 24, 2016 , ... Last week, ... for corporate executives and entrepreneurs, held The Future of San Diego Life Science event ... San Diego life science community attended the event with speakers Dr. Rich Heyman, former ...
(Date:5/23/2016)... Zimmer Biomet Holdings, Inc. (NYSE and SIX: ZBH), ... Board of Directors has approved the payment of a quarterly ... The cash dividend of $0.24 per share ... stockholders of record as of the close of business on ... approval of the Board of Directors and may be adjusted ...
Breaking Biology Technology: