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Mitonuclear Ecology$
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Geoffrey E. Hill

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780198818250

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: June 2019

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198818250.001.0001

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Life eternal in the face of senescence

Life eternal in the face of senescence

Chapter:
(p.117) 6 Life eternal in the face of senescence
Source:
Mitonuclear Ecology
Author(s):

Geoffrey E. Hill

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/oso/9780198818250.003.0006

Unlike prokaryotes, eukaryotes are born, mature, grow old, and die. Why death is inevitable for all complex life is among the most important questions in evolutionary biology. The mitochondrial theory of aging proposes that senescence is the process of depletion of viable mitochondria, which is an inevitable and unavoidable outcome of life processes. Mitonuclear interactions are proposed to play a key role in the evolution of the pace of life, and I review and discuss this emerging literature. Moreover, some eukaryotes, and most notably bilaterian animals, have a sequestered germ line that remains perpetually undifferentiated with no participation in organismal functions across generations. New hypotheses propose that germ lines enable intense selection on mt genomes thus preserving a mitochondrial template across generations. The implications of a mitonuclear perspective on aging and the evolution of germ lines are the focus of this chapter.

Keywords:   Senescence, germ line, cell line, replication error, free radical theory of aging, mitochondrial theory of aging, atresia, germ line bottleneck, heteroplasmy, antagonistic pleiotropy

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