Insect senescence: interactions between survival, reproduction and immunity
Started in october 2016
In most animals, ageing is associated with a decline of several physiological functions including immunity and reproduction. Because immunity and reproduction are costly traits, their relative value is likely to change across an organism’s lifespan. In particular, levels of investment into immune defence an individual should achieve to itself or its progeny as function its age and its reproductive effort are still unknown. This project aims to study the relationships between reproduction, immunity and senescence in the insect model Tenebrio molitor (Coleoptera, Tenebrionidae), for which it is relatively easy to manipulate and quantify the investment into reproductive effort and immunity across its lifespan. We are particularly interested in examining effects of age-dependent investments into reproduction and immunity on patterns of senescence (immunity, reproduction and survival). In addition, we would like to study the consequences of trans-generational immune priming (TGIP) on patterns of senescence in the offspring (in terms of immunity, reproduction and survival).
evolution, TTGI, aging, Tenebrio molitor