Fish aging

Blažek R. et. al. 2017

Aging, the process of getting old, has always fascinated human. While we start to understand mechanistic view of aging, we still know little on how aging has evolved, and how and why aging varies among organisms. Using fishes from ephemeral pools on the African savannah, we demonstrated that demographic and functional aging has repeatedly evolved in response to the level of external mortality risk, with fish from drier region living significantly shorter lives in benign laboratory setting. Surprisingly, shorter lifespans of the dry-region fish were not strongly associated with other life history traits – shorter-lived fish did not grow quicker, did not mature earlier and did not diverge in their metabolic capacities and behavior. Overall, we showed that variation in lifespan and functional declines in natural populations is concerted and genetically underpinned. This has major contribution to our understating of evolutionary variation in aging rates.

BLAŽEK R., POLAČIK M., KAČER P., CELLERINO A., ŘEŽUCHA R., METHLING C., TOMÁŠEK O., SYSLOVÁ K., TERZIBASI TOZZINI E., ALBRECHT T., VRTÍLEK M., REICHARD M.: Repeated intraspecific divergence in life span and aging of African annual fishes along an aridity gradient, Evolution (2017).