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.
- DNA repair
- Hydra oligactis
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- veterinary (miscalleneous)
- Complementary and alternative medicine
- Geriatrics and Gerontology
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine