Genetic dissection of late-life fertility in Caenorhabditis elegans.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

The large post-reproductive life span reported for the free-living hermaphroditic nematode, Caenorhabditis elegans, which lives for about 10 days after its 5-day period of self-reproduction, seems at odds with evolutionary theory. Species with long post-reproductive life spans such as mammals are sometimes explained by a need for parental care or transfer of information. This does not seem a suitable explanation for C elegans. Previous reports have shown that C elegans can regain fertility when mated after the self-fertile period but did not report the functional limits. Here, we report the functional life span of the C elegans germ line when mating with males. We show that C elegans can regain fertility late in life (significantly later than in previous reports) and that the end of this period corresponds quite well to its 3-week total life span. Genetic analysis reveals that late-life fertility is controlled by conserved pathways involved with aging and dietary restriction.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Mendenhall, AR; Wu, D; Park, S-K; Cypser, JR; Tedesco, PM; Link, CD; Phillips, PC; Johnson, TE

Published Date

  • August 2011

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 66 / 8

Start / End Page

  • 842 - 854

PubMed ID

  • 21622982

Pubmed Central ID

  • PMC3148761

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1758-535X

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 1079-5006

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1093/gerona/glr089


  • eng