Age at maturation has sex- and temperature-specific effects on telomere length in a fish

Age at maturation has sex- and temperature-specific effects on telomere length in a fish Telomeres are highly conserved nucleoprotein structures which protect genome integrity. The length of telomeres is influenced by both genetic and environmental factors, but relatively little is known about how different hereditary and environmental factors interact in determining telomere length. We manipulated growth rates and timing of maturation by exposing full-sib nine-spined sticklebacks (Pungitius pungitius) to two different temperature treatments and quantified the effects of temperature treatments, sex, timing of maturation, growth rate and family (genetic influences) on telomere length. We did not find the overall effect of temperature treatment on the relative telomere length. However, we found that variation in telomere length was related to timing of maturation in a sex- and temperature-dependent manner. Telomere length was negatively related to age at maturation in elevated temperature and early maturing males and females differed in telomere length. Variation in growth rate did not explain any variation in telomere length. The broad sense heritability (h 2) of telomere length was estimated at h 2 = 0.31 − 0.47, suggesting predominance of environmental over genetic determinants of telomere length variability. This study provides the first evidence that age at maturation together with factors associated with it are influencing telomere length in an ectotherm. Future studies are encouraged to identify the extent to which these results can be replicated in other ectotherms. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Oecologia Springer Journals

Age at maturation has sex- and temperature-specific effects on telomere length in a fish

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Publisher
Springer Berlin Heidelberg
Copyright
Copyright © 2017 by Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany
Subject
Life Sciences; Ecology; Plant Sciences; Hydrology/Water Resources
ISSN
0029-8549
eISSN
1432-1939
D.O.I.
10.1007/s00442-017-3913-5
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

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