Nov 26, 2019

Dietary restriction improves fitness of ageing parents but reduces fitness of their offspring in nematodes

The Journals of Gerontology. Series A, Biological Sciences and Medical Sciences
Brian MautzAlexei A Maklakov

Abstract

Dietary restriction (DR) is a well-established intervention to extend lifespan across taxa. Recent studies suggest that DR-driven lifespan extension can be cost-free, calling into question a central tenant of the evolutionary theory of ageing. Nevertheless, boosting parental longevity can reduce offspring fitness. Such intergenerational trade-offs are often ignored but can account for the 'missing costs' of longevity. Here, we use the nematode Caenorhabditis remanei to test for effects of DR by fasting on fitness of females and their offspring. Females deprived of food for six days indeed had increased fecundity, survival and stress resistance after re-exposure to food compared to their counterparts with constant food access. However, offspring of DR mothers had reduced early and lifetime fecundity, slower growth rate, and smaller body size at sexual maturity. These findings support the direct trade-off between investment in soma and gametes challenging the hypothesis that increased somatic maintenance and impaired reproduction can be decoupled.

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Mentioned in this Paper

Study
Size
Sexual Maturation
Food
Reproduction
Caenorhabditis remanei
Primary Sex Determination, Soma
Malnutrition
Germ Cells
Resistance Process

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