Using lines selected for long life by Luckinbill 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.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
We thank L. Luckinbill for providing stocks. L. Ack-ert, K. Braas, C. Gendron, G. Kantor, A. Kirscher, C. Misiak and S. Pletcher provided valuable technical assistance. JWC thanks D. Harrison and the Jackson Labs for their hospitality during the writing stage. Research is supported by National Institutes of Health grants AG-08761 and AG-11722.
- Artificial selection
- Genetic drift
- Life span