A demographic analysis of the fitness cost of extended longevity in Caenorhabditis elegans. Academic Article uri icon


  • We monitored survival and reproduction of 1000 individuals of Caenorhabditis elegans wild type (N2) and 800 individuals of clk-1 and daf-2, and used biodemographic analysis to address fitness as the integrative consequence of the entire age-specific schedules of survival and reproduction. Relative to N2, the mutants clk-1 and daf-2 extended average life span by 27% and 111%, respectively, but reduced net reproductive rate by 44% and 18%. The net result of differences in survival and fertility was a significant differential in fitness, with both clk-1 (lambda = 2.74) and daf-2 (lambda = 3.78) at a disadvantage relative to N2 (lambda = 3.85). Demographic life table response experiment (LTRE) analysis revealed that the fitness differentials were due to negative effects in mutants on reproduction in the first 6-7 days of life. Fitness costs in clk-1 and daf-2 of C. elegans are consistent with the theory of antagonistic pleiotropy for the evolution of senescence.

publication date

  • February 2007