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Disposable Soma Theory and the Evolution of Maternal Effects on Ageing.

van den Heuvel, Joost; English, Sinead and Uller, Tobias LU (2016) In PLoS ONE 11(1).
Abstract
Maternal effects are ubiquitous in nature and affect a wide range of offspring phenotypes. Recent research suggests that maternal effects also contribute to ageing, but the theoretical basis for these observations is poorly understood. Here we develop a simple model to derive expectations for (i) if maternal effects on ageing evolve; (ii) the strength of maternal effects on ageing relative to direct environmental effects; and (iii) the predicted relationships between environmental quality, maternal age and offspring lifespan. Our model is based on the disposable soma theory of ageing, and the key assumption is thus that mothers trade off their own somatic maintenance against investment in offspring. This trade-off affects the biological... (More)
Maternal effects are ubiquitous in nature and affect a wide range of offspring phenotypes. Recent research suggests that maternal effects also contribute to ageing, but the theoretical basis for these observations is poorly understood. Here we develop a simple model to derive expectations for (i) if maternal effects on ageing evolve; (ii) the strength of maternal effects on ageing relative to direct environmental effects; and (iii) the predicted relationships between environmental quality, maternal age and offspring lifespan. Our model is based on the disposable soma theory of ageing, and the key assumption is thus that mothers trade off their own somatic maintenance against investment in offspring. This trade-off affects the biological age of offspring at birth in terms of accumulated damage, as indicated by biomarkers such as oxidative stress or telomere length. We find that the optimal allocation between investment in maternal somatic investment and investment in offspring results in old mothers and mothers with low resource availability producing offspring with reduced life span. Furthermore, the effects are interactive, such that the strongest maternal age effects on offspring lifespan are found under low resource availability. These findings are broadly consistent with results from laboratory studies investigating the onset and rate of ageing and field studies examining maternal effects on ageing in the wild. (Less)
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author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
in
PLoS ONE
volume
11
issue
1
publisher
Public Library of Science
external identifiers
  • pmid:26752635
  • wos:000367888100017
  • scopus:84954559412
ISSN
1932-6203
DOI
10.1371/journal.pone.0145544
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
253c1ead-c0f1-4741-a8d1-774bb1efe021 (old id 8592424)
date added to LUP
2016-02-17 09:34:58
date last changed
2017-10-22 04:18:12
@article{253c1ead-c0f1-4741-a8d1-774bb1efe021,
  abstract     = {Maternal effects are ubiquitous in nature and affect a wide range of offspring phenotypes. Recent research suggests that maternal effects also contribute to ageing, but the theoretical basis for these observations is poorly understood. Here we develop a simple model to derive expectations for (i) if maternal effects on ageing evolve; (ii) the strength of maternal effects on ageing relative to direct environmental effects; and (iii) the predicted relationships between environmental quality, maternal age and offspring lifespan. Our model is based on the disposable soma theory of ageing, and the key assumption is thus that mothers trade off their own somatic maintenance against investment in offspring. This trade-off affects the biological age of offspring at birth in terms of accumulated damage, as indicated by biomarkers such as oxidative stress or telomere length. We find that the optimal allocation between investment in maternal somatic investment and investment in offspring results in old mothers and mothers with low resource availability producing offspring with reduced life span. Furthermore, the effects are interactive, such that the strongest maternal age effects on offspring lifespan are found under low resource availability. These findings are broadly consistent with results from laboratory studies investigating the onset and rate of ageing and field studies examining maternal effects on ageing in the wild.},
  articleno    = {e0145544},
  author       = {van den Heuvel, Joost and English, Sinead and Uller, Tobias},
  issn         = {1932-6203},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {1},
  publisher    = {Public Library of Science},
  series       = {PLoS ONE},
  title        = {Disposable Soma Theory and the Evolution of Maternal Effects on Ageing.},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0145544},
  volume       = {11},
  year         = {2016},
}