Evolutionary genetics of lifespan and mortality rates in two populations of the seed beetle, Callosobruchus maculatus

C. W. Fox, M. L. Bush, D. A. Roff, W. G. Wallin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

57 Scopus citations

Abstract

The age at which individuals die varies substantially within and between species, but we still have little understanding of why there is such variation in life expectancy. We examined sex-specific and genetic variation in adult lifespan and the shape of mortality curves both within and between two populations of the seed beetle, Callosobruchus maculatus, that differ in a suite of life history characters associated with adaptation to different host species. Mean adult lifespan and the shape of the logistic mortality curves differed substantially between males and females (males had lower initial mortality rates, but a faster increase in the rate of mortality with increasing age) and between populations (they differed in the rate of increase in mortality with age). Larger individuals lived longer than smaller individuals, both because they had lower initial mortality rates and a slower increase in the rate of mortality with increasing age. However, differences in body size were not adequate to explain the differences in mortality between the sexes or populations. Both lifespan and mortality rates were genetically variable within populations and genetic variance/covariance matrices for lifespan differed between the populations and sexes. This study thus demonstrated substantial genetic variation in lifespan and mortality rates within and between populations of C. maculatus.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)170-181
Number of pages12
JournalHeredity
Volume92
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 2004

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We thank M Fulkerson for help during the experiment, and thank A Amarillo, ME Czesak, F Messina, J Moya-Laraño, C Rauter, and C Stillwell for comments on earlier drafts of this manuscript. F Messina kindly provided access to his beetle populations. S Pletcher kindly provided free access to his software (WinModest) for fitting and comparing mortality curves. Funding for this research was provided by NSF DEB-9996371 and DEB-0110754 to C Fox. Funding for M Bush was provided by

Keywords

  • Body size
  • Callosobruchus maculatus
  • Logistic mortality model
  • Longevity
  • Mortality rate
  • Senescence

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics
  • Genetics(clinical)

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