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Genetic specification of life span and self-fertility in recombinant-inbred strains of Caenorhabditis elegans.

Brooks A;Johnson TE

Citation: Heredity 67: 19-28 1991



Abstract: The genetic basis of life-span and age-specific fertility has been analysed using recombinant-inbred strains of the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans. Estimates of narrow-sense heritability range from 0.05 to 0.36 for life span and from 0.36 to 0.49 for total self- fertility. Positive phenotypic and genetic correlations for life span and total fertility were also observed, although in most cases the correlations were not significant. In general, age-specific hermaphrodite fertility was positively correlated with fertility on contiguous days but was negatively correlated with fertility on more distant days. We estimate that a minimum of two to three genes specify each of these traits in this genetic background. Three single- gene markers were used to generate strain distribution patterns, and two of these were found to be linked with loci that specify life span and/or fertility. We also saw evidence for a significant environmental component affecting self-fertility.