Updated 19/08/20

January 2018 - December 2021

South Africa

© CNRS

A new natural, long-lived model, termites to study the role of feeding on aging.

 

Within the team "Social species in their environments: adaptation and evolution (ESEAE)" of the laboratory iEES-Paris, the researchers are studying the molecular mechanisms of aging through a new, natural model, the termite queens of the genus Macrotermes. They live at least until the age of 30 and are, throughout their life, extremely fertile (40 000 eggs / day).

Through an integrative biology approach, they study the impact of metabolic reprogramming (in response to feeding) on the reproduction rate during the development of these queens.

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They will compare the data with those of infertile female workers, who have the same genome at birth but live only a few months, and those of queens of another species with very short lives.

Comparison of results with other model organisms will help to understand which molecular components are universally conserved or modified to lead to signaling pathways involved in increased longevity effects. A mathematical model will be developed using the experimental data.

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Funding

Human Science Frontier Program (HSFP) RGP 0060/2018 - Defying the reproduction-maintenance trade-off: Role of diet in long-lived termite reproductive

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© Pierre de Parscau / CNRS Photothèque

Arrival and setup of a termite mound by the French-South African team, at the University of Pretoria.