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Parental age at conception on mouse lemur’s offspring longevity: Sex-specific maternal effects

PLoS One. 2022 Dec 29;17(12):e0265783. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0265783. eCollection 2022.


Parental age at conception often influences offspring’s longevity, a phenomenon referred as the “Lansing effect” described in large variety of organisms. But, the majority of the results refer to the survival of juveniles, mainly explained by an inadequate parental care by the elderly parents, mostly the mothers. Studies on the effect of parental age on offspring’s longevity in adulthood remain few, except in humans for whom effects of parental age vary according to statistical models or socioeconomic environments. In a small primate in which the longevity reaches up to 13 years, we investigated the effects of parental age at conception on the longevity of offspring (N = 278) issued from parents with known longevity. None of the postnatal parameters (body mass at 30 and 60 days after birth, size and composition of the litter) influenced offspring’s longevity. Mothers’ age at conception negatively affected offspring’s longevity in males but not in females. By contrast, fathers’ age at conception did not influence offspring’s longevity. Finally, the longevity of female offspring was significantly positively related to the longevity of both parents. Compared with current studies, the surprisingly minor effect of fathers ‘age was related to the high seasonal reproduction and the particular telomere biology of mouse lemurs.

PMID:36580457 | DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0265783

By Nevin Manimala

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