Navigation Links
Getting an evolutionary handle on life after reproduction

Since many animals live beyond their fertile years, biologists have searched for evolutionary clues to this extended lifespan. What role, if any, does natural selection play in the evolution of the postreproductive lifespan?

For natural selection to shape the twilight years, postreproductive females should contribute to the fitness of their offspring or relatives, a hypothesis called the "grandmother effect." Though many mammals, including lions and baboons, rear dependent young and operate within complex social groups, studies have found no evidence of a granny effect, and females mostly live just long enough to care for their last born. For nonsocial animals that spawn independent young, extended lifespan is associated with good nutrition and the absence of disease and predators.

In a new study, David Reznick, Michael Bryant, and Donna Holmes provide the first experimental confirmation that evolution works selectively on those aspects of life history that directly affect fitness. They expand on their ongoing investigations of the life history of guppies confronting different predatory threats in Trinidad. Individuals facing different mortality threats should evolve different adaptations in their life histories, such as age at first reproduction, investment in reproduction, and patterns of senescence, including declines in reproduction. Since guppies are livebearers that provide no postnatal maternal care, Reznick et al. predicted the populations would show no differences in postreproductive lifespan--which is what they found.

Though overall lifespan varied among the populations, these variations stemmed from differences in time allotted only to reproduction. Postreproductive lifespan, in contrast, showed no signs of being under selection, and appeared to be what the authors called a "random add-on at the end of the life history." Random or not, this is the first demonstration of a postreproductive lifespan in fish.

These findings also refute the suggestion that fish may experience little or no reproductive senescence based on evidence that they continue to produce eggs as adults. It's an open question whether postreproductive lifespan can influence fitness enough to be under selection. But in a field dominated by investigations into the origins of human menopause and extended lifespan, the authors make a strong case for using experimental comparative analyses of other species to gain an evolutionary perspective on the human condition.


'"/>

Source:Public Library of Science


Related biology news :

1. Getting close to nature is good for you
2. Getting old? Slowing down? Blame inefficient mitochondria
3. Getting to the heart of the heart
4. Family trees of ancient bacteria reveal evolutionary moves
5. Revolutionary nanotechnology illuminates brain cells at work
6. The evolutionary triumph of flower power
7. Multi-species genome comparison sheds new light on evolutionary processes, cancer mutations
8. The first laugh: New study posits evolutionary origins of two distinct types of laughter
9. Finding rewrites the evolutionary history of the origin of potatoes
10. Mute swan population helps explain longstanding evolutionary question
11. UF scientists discover evolutionary origin of fins, limbs
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:


(Date:6/2/2016)... 2016 The Department of Transport Management ... 44 million US Dollar project, for the , ... Personalization, Enrolment, and IT Infrastructure , to ... and implementation of Identity Management Solutions. Numerous renowned international vendors ... Decatur was selected for the most compliant and ...
(Date:5/24/2016)... patient care by providing unparalleled technology to leaders of the medical imaging industry.  As ... added to the range of products distributed by Ampronix. Photo - ... ... ... ...
(Date:5/9/2016)... 9, 2016 Elevay is currently ... expanding freedom for high net worth professionals seeking travel ... globally connected world, there is still no substitute for ... duplicate sealing your deal with a firm handshake. This ... taking advantage of citizenship via investment programs like those ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2016)... MA (PRWEB) , ... June 23, 2016 , ... ... Peel Plate® YM (Yeast and Mold) microbial test has received AOAC Research Institute ... platform of microbial tests introduced last year,” stated Bob Salter, Vice President of ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... FRANCISCO , June 23, 2016   EpiBiome ... has secured $1 million in debt financing from Silicon ... ramp up automation and to advance its drug development ... its new facility. "SVB has been an ... beyond the services a traditional bank would provide," said ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... , ... June 23, 2016 , ... In a new ... in Denmark detail how a patient who developed lymphedema after being treated for breast ... results could change the paradigm for dealing with this debilitating, frequent side effect of ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... -- Andrew D Zelenetz , ... Published recently in Oncology & ... Andrew D Zelenetz , discusses the fact ... placing an increasing burden on healthcare systems worldwide, ... the patents on many biologics expiring, interest in ...
Breaking Biology Technology: