Inducible aging in Hydra oligactis implicates sexual reproduction, loss of stem cells, and genome maintenance as major pathways

Academic Article


  • Freshwater polyps of the genus Hydra do not age. However, temperature stress induces aging and a shift from reproduction by asexual budding to sexual gamete production in a cold-sensitive (CS) strain of H. oligactis. We sequenced the transcriptome of a male CS strain before and after this life history shift and compared changes in gene expression relative to those seen in a cold-resistant (CR) strain that does not undergo a life history shift in response to altered temperature. We found that the switch from non-aging asexual reproduction to aging and sexual reproduction involves upregulation of genes not only involved in gametogenesis but also genes involved in cellular senescence, apoptosis, and DNA repair accompanied by a downregulation of genes involved in stem cell maintenance. These results suggest that aging is a byproduct of sexual reproduction-associated cellular reprogramming and underscore the power of these H. oligactis strains to identify intrinsic mechanisms of aging.
  • Authors

    Published In

  • Geroscience  Journal
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Sun S; White RR; Fischer KE; Zhang Z; Austad SN; Vijg J
  • Start Page

  • 1119
  • End Page

  • 1132
  • Volume

  • 42
  • Issue

  • 4