Absence of strong heterosis for life span and other life history traits in Caenorhabditis elegans.
T E Johnson, E W Hutchinson

Abstract

We have examined crosses between wild-type strains of Caenorhabditis elegans for heterosis effects on life span and other life history traits. Hermaphrodites of all wild strains had similar life expectancies but males of two strains had shorter life spans than hermaphrodites while males of two other strains lived longer than hermaphrodites. F1 hermaphrodite progeny showed no heterosis while some heterosis for longer life span was detected in F1 males. F1 hybrids of crosses between two widely studied wild-type strains, N2 (var. Bristol) and Berg BO (var. Bergerac), were examined for rate of development, hermaphrodite fertility, and behavior; there was no heterosis for these life history traits. Both controlled variation of temperature and uncontrolled environmental variation affected the length of life of all genotypes. Significant G x E effects on life span were observed in comparisons of N2 and Berg BO hermaphrodites, or N2 hermaphrodites and males, or N2 and a Ts mutant strain (DH26). Nevertheless, within an experiment, environmental variation was minimal and life spans were quite replicable.