2016
DOI: 10.18632/aging.101027
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Abstract: Understanding why organisms senesce is a fundamental question in biology. One common explanation is that senescence results from an increase in macromolecular damage with age. The tremendous variation in lifespan between genetically identical queen and worker ants, ranging over an order of magnitude, provides a unique system to study how investment into processes of somatic maintenance and macromolecular repair influence lifespan. Here we use RNAseq to compare patterns of expression of genes involved in DNA an… Show more

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Cited by 29 publications
(29 citation statements)
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References 74 publications
(53 reference statements)
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“…It is therefore tempting to speculate that worker NMRs should show greater aging (and cancer) than breeders, because the former perform most of the risky functions in the colony. However, as noted above and unlike social insects where differences in aging between castes has been found (Chapuisat and Keller 2002;Keller and Jemielity 2006;Lucas et al 2016), NMR breeders derive from workers and dispersers, meaning that much of the adaptive gene expression in the former is likely to be similar in the latter two morphs. This is effectively what the data show (negligible cancer incidence) when workers are reared beyond ages attained in the wild.…”
Section: A Hypothesis To Explain the Observationsmentioning
confidence: 90%
“…It is therefore tempting to speculate that worker NMRs should show greater aging (and cancer) than breeders, because the former perform most of the risky functions in the colony. However, as noted above and unlike social insects where differences in aging between castes has been found (Chapuisat and Keller 2002;Keller and Jemielity 2006;Lucas et al 2016), NMR breeders derive from workers and dispersers, meaning that much of the adaptive gene expression in the former is likely to be similar in the latter two morphs. This is effectively what the data show (negligible cancer incidence) when workers are reared beyond ages attained in the wild.…”
Section: A Hypothesis To Explain the Observationsmentioning
confidence: 90%
“…Potentially important pathways include ones which can repair damage when it occurs, such as those involved in DNA repair (Lombard et al, 2005). DNA repair gene expression is higher in queens than workers in L. niger (Lucas, Privman, & Keller, 2016) and in naked mole rats compared to mice (MacRae et al, 2015), indicating an association between DNA repair and longevity. However, this upregulation of DNA repair pathways contrasts with the lack of difference in DNA damage accumulation between queen and worker described above.…”
Section: Senescencementioning
confidence: 99%
“…Such disparity is fascinating yet challenges the application of classic theories of aging [43] and we have limited understanding of the mechanisms involved. A transcriptomic analysis of Lasius ants at three time points found that DNA repair genes are more highly expressed in both brain and leg tissues of queens than age-matched workers [44 ], pointing at an association between greater lifespan and somatic repair. Because queens are long lived but mate shortly after emergence from the pupae, the longterm storage of viable sperm in the queen's specialized organ (spermatheca) is another conundrum that is only now being investigated.…”
Section: Investigating Intraspecific Variation In Lifespanmentioning
confidence: 99%