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Growth rate and longevity in Drosophila melanogaster and Tribolium castaneum

Naturevolume 266pages624625 (1977) | Download Citation



THERE are two main groups of hypotheses concerning the mechanism of ageing and death. The stochastic hypothesis assumes that ageing is due to the progressive deterioration of the metabolic machinery caused by the random accumulation of disturbances in one or the other of the cellular macromolecules. This hypothesis has been subject to many experimental tests, but is not yet supported by conclusive evidence. The developmental hypothesis of ageing considers senescence and death as the programmed ultimate stage of differentiation and development. Few experiments have been designed to test that last hypothesis. In two species of insects, Drosophila and Tribolium—classical tools in genetical research—we tried to verify the hypothesis which relates development to ageing. In Drosophila we looked at the variations of longevity linked to experimentally induced variations of one of the important components of development, namely growth rate. In Tribolium, we studied variations in longevity associated with the natural variations of growth rate of various ecotypes. In both cases there are clear relations between pre-imaginal growth rate and adult longevity.

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  1. Laboratoire de Génétique, Université de Louvain, 1348, Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium

    • F. A. LINTS
    •  & M. H. SOLIMAN


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