Survival analysis of life span quantitative trait loci in Drosophila melanogaster

Sergey V. Nuzhdin, Aziz A. Khazaeli, James W. Curtsinger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

36 Scopus citations


We used quantitative trait loci (QTL) mapping to evaluate the age specificity of naturally segregating alleles affecting life span. Estimates of age-specific mortality rates were obtained from observing 51,778 mated males and females from a panel of 144 recombinant inbred lines (RILs). Twenty-five QTL were found, having 80 significant effects on life span and weekly mortality rates. Generation of RILs from heterozygous parents enabled us to contrast effects of QTL alleles with the means of RIL populations. Most of the low-frequency alleles increased mortality, especially at younger ages. Two QTL had negatively correlated effects on mortality at different ages, while the remainder were positively correlated. Chromosomal positions of QTL were roughly concordant with estimates from other mapping populations. Our findings are broadly consistent with a mix of transient deleterious mutations and a few polymorphisms maintained by balancing selection, which together contribute to standing genetic variation in life span.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)719-731
Number of pages13
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 2005


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