Lifespan, QTLs, age-specificity, and pleiotropy in Drosophila

James W. Curtsinger, Aziz A. Khazaeli

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67 Scopus citations


We have constructed a set of 120 recombinant inbred lines for use in studies of the genetics of lifespan in Drosophila. The lines are derived from Luckinbill and Clare's (Heredity 55 (1985) 9) artificial selection experiment for increased lifespan. Inbred lines retain the relative lifespan characteristics of the experimental and control stocks from which they are derived. Mapping experiments suggest that a small number of QTLs accounts for much of the selection response. The age-specificity of genetic effects is best visualized in three-dimensional QTL maps of age-specific mortality. QTLs are shared by males and females, and have effects on age-specific mortality that are positively correlated across ages, with different times of onset. There is evidence for positively correlated pleiotropic effects of lifespan QTLs on mid-life fertility and resistance to an oxidizing chemical, and a striking lack of evidence for negative pleiotropy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)81-93
Number of pages13
JournalMechanisms of Ageing and Development
Issue number2-3
StatePublished - 2002

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Survival data were collected with assistance from N. Minois, J. Larson, A. Steffenhagen, J. Cantor, J. Zimmerman, D. Dingfelder, and C. Mahlke. L. Luckinbill and P. Foley collaborated in the construction of inbred and RI lines. M. Tatar characterized roo elements in the RI lines. S. Pletcher assisted with data management. Research is supported by grants AG 09711 and AG 11722 from the National Institute of Aging at the National Institutes of Health.


  • Artificial selection
  • Drosophila
  • Lifespan
  • Pleiotropy
  • QTL
  • Recombinant inbred lines
  • Sex-specificity


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