The cost of reproduction, i.e. a decreased lifespan due to reproduction, is a crucial trade-off which drives life-history evolution in nearly all species, including humans. A key question in evolutionary and aging research is how this trade-off is regulated in natural populations. Although some induced mutations affecting lifespan also alter the reproductive state, detailed knowledge about the transcriptional architecture of the trade-off between lifespan and offspring is scant. We combined life-history analysis and mapping of juvenile gene transcripts in a population of recombinant inbred lines (RILs) obtained from a cross between C. elegans wildtypes N2 and CB4856. We found a trade-off between lifespan and offspring across the lines. Genetic mapping of gene expression (eQTL) revealed that the number of regulated genes increased by 20% when they were highly correlated with both traits. RNAi treatment of a few of these genes in N2 affected both offspring and lifespan. We highlight a specific case, where unc-51 RNAi increased offspring with 30% while decreasing lifespan with 15%. By introgressing a trans-acting CB4856 locus into N2 we show that the RNAi effect on the trade-off was modulated. We demonstrate that the trade-off between lifespan and offspring is highly regulated early in life and suggest that autophagic processes tune C.elegans life-history by allocating resources between offspring and lifespan.
|Title of host publication||Abstracts ESEB, 24-29 September 2009, Torino, Italy|
|Place of Publication||Torino|
|Publication status||Published - 2009|
|Event||12th Congress European Society for Evolutionary Biology - |
Duration: 24 Sep 2009 → 29 Sep 2009
|Conference||12th Congress European Society for Evolutionary Biology|
|Period||24/09/09 → 29/09/09|