Effect of adult cohort density on age-specific mortality in Drosophila melanogaster

Aziz A. Khazaeli, Liang Xiu, James W Curtsinger

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42 Scopus citations


Mortality rates decelerate at older ages in experimental populations of Drosophila. It is unclear whether this reflects a real slow-down in the aging process, or an artifact of declining density. Mortality was studied in age-synchronized cohorts of four inbred lines at three initial densities that varied 10-fold. A total of 70,000 flies of both sexes were studied. There were large line X density, line, and sex effects, but no systematic relationship between density and life span was detected. Mortality curves level off at older ages in 23 out of 24 sex-genotype combinations, irrespective of initial cohort density. Density has only second-order effects on the pattern of oldest-old mortality over the range of densities studied here. The dramatic departure from Gompertz-type mortality dynamics at older ages is not an artifact of declining density in Drosophila.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)B262-B269
JournalJournals of Gerontology - Series A Biological Sciences and Medical Sciences
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 1995

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was supported by National Institutes of Health grants PO1 AG-08761 and RO1 AG-11722 and the Graduate School of the University of Minnesota.


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