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Germline stem cell maintenance as a proximate mechanism of life-history trade-offs?

Drosophila selected for prolonged fecundity have a slower rate of germline stem cell loss

Authors

  • Angela N. Kaczmarczyk,

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Evolution and Ecology University of California, Davis California, USA
    2. Current address: Division of Genetics, Genomics, and Development Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology, University of California, Berkeley California, USA
    • Department of Evolution and Ecology, University of California, Davis California 95616, USA.
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  • Artyom Kopp

    1. Department of Evolution and Ecology University of California, Davis California, USA
    2. Center for Population Biology, University of California, Davis California, USA
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Abstract

We suggest that the commonly observed trade-offs between early- and late-life reproduction may be mediated by genetic variation in germline stem cell maintenance. Stem cell biology provides a natural framework and experimental methods for understanding the mechanistic basis of life-history evolution. At the same time, natural variation in life-history strategies can serve as a powerful tool for identifying the genes and molecular pathways involved in the maintenance of stem cells in aging adults. We illustrate the connections between life-history and stem cells with examples drawn primarily from Drosophila melanogaster and Caenorhabditis elegans, and suggest a number of testable hypotheses and avenues for future investigation that can be addressed with existing models and tools.

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