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Mechanisms of Life History EvolutionThe Genetics and Physiology of Life History Traits and Trade-Offs$
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Thomas Flatt and Andreas Heyland

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780199568765

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: December 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199568765.001.0001

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Molecular stress pathways and the evolution of life histories in reptiles

Molecular stress pathways and the evolution of life histories in reptiles

Chapter 15 Molecular stress pathways and the evolution of life histories in reptiles
Mechanisms of Life History Evolution

Tonia S. Schwartz

Anne M. Bronikowski

Oxford University Press

This chapter synthesizes the empirical evidence for reptiles on how environmental stresses can induce molecular stress pathways. In an evolutionary framework, it describes how these pathways can respond to natural selective forces to shape reproduction and aging. The chapter focuses on molecular pathways, including gene networks and DNA repair, enzyme and hormonal regulation, mitochondrial and cell function, that are induced by the stresses found in the natural environment: thermal, oxidative, caloric (prey abundance), predators/predation, social (mating systems), and immunological. Finally, it proposes areas of research that should be the focus of future studies to elucidate further the evolution of molecular mechanisms which determine life history traits in reptiles.

Keywords:   aging, ectotherm, lifespan, metabolism oxidative stress, pleiotropy, reproduction, stress response

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