Transcriptome analysis of a long-lived natural Drosophila variant: a prominent role of stress- and reproduction-genes in lifespan extension
Doroszuk, A. ; Jonker, M.J. ; Pul, N. ; Breit, T.M. ; Zwaan, B.J. - \ 2012
BMC Genomics 13 (2012). - ISSN 1471-2164
genome-wide - starvation resistance - expression patterns - caloric restriction - dietary restriction - c-elegans - caenorhabditis-elegans - laboratory selection - oxidative stress - immune-response
Background While studying long-lived mutants has advanced our understanding of the processes involved in ageing, the mechanisms underlying natural variation in lifespan and ageing rate remain largely unknown. Here, we characterise genome-wide expression patterns of a long-lived, natural variant of Drosophila melanogaster resulting from selection for starvation resistance (SR) and compare it with normal-lived control flies (C). We do this at two time points representing middle age (90% survival) and old age (10% survival) respectively, in three adult diets (malnutrition, optimal food, and overfeeding). Results We found profound differences between Drosophila lines in their age-related expression. Most of the age-associated changes in normal-lived flies were abrogated in long-lived Drosophila. The stress-related genes, including those involved in proteolysis and cytochrome P450, were generally higher expressed in SR flies and showed a smaller increase in expression with age compared to C flies. The genes involved in reproduction showed a lower expression in middle-aged SR than in C flies and, unlike C flies, a lack of their downregulation with age. Further, we found that malnutrition strongly affected age-associated transcript patterns overriding the differences between the lines. However, under less stressful dietary conditions, line and diet affected age-dependent expression similarly. Finally, we present lists of candidate markers of ageing and lifespan extension. Conclusions Our study unveils transcriptional changes associated with lifespan extension in SR Drosophila. The results suggest that natural genetic variation for SR and lifespan can operate through similar transcriptional mechanisms as those of dietary restriction and life-extending mutations. Keywords: Ageing; Gene expression; Microarray; Drosophila melanogaster; Natural variation; Diet
Translating environmental gradients into discontinuous reaction norms via hormone signalling in a polyphenic butterfly
Oostra, V. ; Jong, M.A. de; Invergo, B.M. ; Kesbeke, F. ; Wende, F. ; Brakefield, P.M. ; Zwaan, B.J. - \ 2011
Proceedings of the Royal Society. B: Biological Sciences 278 (2011)1706. - ISSN 0962-8452 - p. 789 - 797.
bicyclus-anynana - phenotypic plasticity - developmental plasticity - drosophila-melanogaster - starvation resistance - artificial selection - eyespot size - evolution - responses - canalization
Polyphenisms—the expression of discrete phenotypic morphs in response to environmental variation—are examples of phenotypic plasticity that may potentially be adaptive in the face of predictable environmental heterogeneity. In the butterfly Bicyclus anynana, we examine the hormonal regulation of phenotypic plasticity that involves divergent developmental trajectories into distinct adult morphs for a suite of traits as an adaptation to contrasting seasonal environments. This polyphenism is induced by temperature during development and mediated by ecdysteroid hormones. We reared larvae at separate temperatures spanning the natural range of seasonal environments and measured reaction norms for ecdysteroids, juvenile hormones (JHs) and adult fitness traits. Timing of peak ecdysteroid, but not JH titres, showed a binary response to the linear temperature gradient. Several adult traits (e.g. relative abdomen mass) responded in a similar, dimorphic manner, while others (e.g. wing pattern) showed a linear response. This study demonstrates that hormone dynamics can translate a linear environmental gradient into a discrete signal and, thus, that polyphenic differences between adult morphs can already be programmed at the stage of hormone signalling during development. The range of phenotypic responses observed within the suite of traits indicates both shared regulation and independent, trait-specific sensitivity to the hormone signal.
Changed gene expression for candidate ageing genes in long-lived Bicyclus anynana butterflies
Pijpe, J. ; Pul, N. ; Duijn, S. van; Brakefield, P.M. ; Zwaan, B.J. - \ 2011
Experimental Gerontology 46 (2011)6. - ISSN 0531-5565 - p. 426 - 434.
quantitative trait loci - extend life-span - drosophila-melanogaster - oxidative damage - caenorhabditis-elegans - starvation resistance - adaptive evolution - stress resistance - natural variation - longevity
Candidate genes for the regulation of lifespan have emerged from studies that use mutants and genetically manipulated model organisms. However, it is rarely addressed whether these genes contribute to lifespan variation in populations of these species that capture natural standing genetic variation. Here, we explore expression variation in three candidate ageing genes, Indy, sod2, and catalase, in Bicyclus anynana, a butterfly with well understood ecology. We used lines established from natural populations and artificially selected for increased adult starvation resistance. They show a considerable increase in adult lifespan under both starvation and optimal food conditions. We measured adult butterflies of various ages, under a range of optimal and starvation diets, from two selected populations and one unselected control population. In all lines, Indy and catalase are up-regulated in response to starvation while this is not evident for sod2. Under starvation, Indy and catalase are up-regulated in, while this is not evident for sod2. Under optimal food conditions, Indy is down-regulated at a later age, with Indy expression showing relatively high inter-individual variation. We find differences between the selected lines and the unselected line. Under starvation conditions, expression is higher for catalase in one, and for sod2 in both selected lines. Importantly, sod2 expression is also higher in the selected populations under optimal food conditions. We conclude that sod2, but not Indy, is involved in the response to artificial selection for increased starvation resistance. The role of catalase is less clear because of the differences between the two selected lines. Moreover, sod2 appears to be a candidate gene that underpins the genetic correlation between starvation resistance and longevity. Our study indicates that some, but not all, genes identified through mutant screens in other organisms may underpin standing genetic variation for ageing-related traits in stocks of Bicyclus butterflies established from natural populations. Clearly, this needs to be investigated in other organisms as well, especially in the organisms to which mutants screens were applied. This information will narrow down the list of genes that underpin variation in lifespan and ageing in extant populations of organisms, and which may serve as candidate genes in humans