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Authors: Negroni, Matteo
Foitzik, Susanne
Feldmeyer, Barbara
Title: Long-lived Temnothorax ant queens switch from investment in immunity to antioxidant production with age
Online publication date: 8-Jul-2019
Language: english
Abstract: Senescence is manifested by an increase in molecular damage and a deterioration of biological functions with age. In most organisms, body maintenance is traded-off with reproduction. This negative relationship between longevity and fecundity is also evident on the molecular level. Exempt from this negative trait association, social insect queens are both extremely long-lived and highly fecund. Here, we study changes in gene expression with age and fecundity in ant queens to understand the molecular basis of their long lifespan. We analyse tissue-specific gene expression in young founding queens and old fecund queens of the ant Temnothorax rugatulus. More genes altered their expression with age in the fat body than in the brain. Despite strong differences in ovary development, few fecundity genes were differentially expressed. Young founding queens invested in immunity (i.e. activation of Toll signalling pathway) and resistance against environmental and physiological stress (i.e. down-regulation of TOR pathway). Conversely, established older queens invested into anti-aging mechanisms through an overproduction of antioxidants (i.e. upregulation of catalase, superoxide dismutase). Finally, we identified candidate genes and pathways, potentially involved in the association between fertility and longevity in social insects and its proximate basis.
DDC: 570 Biowissenschaften
570 Life sciences
Institution: Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz
Department: FB 10 Biologie
Place: Mainz
URN: urn:nbn:de:hebis:77-publ-591273
Version: Published version
Publication type: Zeitschriftenaufsatz
License: CC BY
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Journal: Scientific reports
Pages or article number: Art. 7270
Publisher: Macmillan Publishers Limited, part of Springer Nature
Publisher place: London
Issue date: 2019
ISSN: 2045-2322
Publisher URL:
Publisher DOI: 10.1038/s41598-019-43796-1
Appears in collections:JGU-Publikationen

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