Opendata, web and dolomites


The trade-off between longevity and reproduction: optimal control of aging

Total Cost €


EC-Contrib. €






 OPTiAGE project word cloud

Explore the words cloud of the OPTiAGE project. It provides you a very rough idea of what is the project "OPTiAGE" about.

longer    combination    shorter    nutrient    scarce    adapt    examine    genetically    employing    age    mutation    resource    quantify    reproduction    proposes    food    delayed    rhesus    varies    organisms    genetic    animals    shaped    aging    thereby    assay    inverse    unavailable    predicted    limitation    developmental    function    identical    principles    dictated    restriction    plentiful    ultimately    nutrients    depending    nematode    modulate    elegans    line    environmental    damage    environments    isotope    mathematical    conditions    longevity    maximize    diverse    continuous    combining    living    organismal    environment    soma    labelling    experiment    partitioning    lifespan    competitive    nematodes    allocation    dst    advantage    optimal    alleles    kinetic    model    theory    genetics    self    trade    disposable    postulates    worms    fitness    directed    off    repair    poor    rate    optimality    evolutionary    depends    exposed    monkeys    pave    accumulation    extension    maintenance   

Project "OPTiAGE" data sheet

The following table provides information about the project.


Organization address
city: BASEL
postcode: 4058

contact info
title: n.a.
name: n.a.
surname: n.a.
function: n.a.
email: n.a.
telephone: n.a.
fax: n.a.

 Coordinator Country Switzerland [CH]
 Project website
 Total cost 187˙419 €
 EC max contribution 187˙419 € (100%)
 Programme 1. H2020-EU.1.3.2. (Nurturing excellence by means of cross-border and cross-sector mobility)
 Code Call H2020-MSCA-IF-2016
 Funding Scheme MSCA-IF-EF-ST
 Starting year 2018
 Duration (year-month-day) from 2018-09-01   to  2020-08-31


Take a look of project's partnership.

# participants  country  role  EC contrib. [€] 


 Project objective

The lifespan of genetically identical organisms varies depending on the environment they are exposed to. A well-known example is the extension of lifespan by nutrient restriction, as observed in animals as diverse as nematodes and rhesus monkeys. Why does the lifespan of animals change with environmental conditions? Is there an advantage to living longer when food is poor, and to living shorter when food is plentiful? Evolutionary theory, known as the disposable soma theory (DST), proposes that organisms age due to the accumulation of damage. According to theory, aging can be delayed by continuous damage repair, but such repair requires resources which are then unavailable for other tasks, such as reproduction. The DST therefore postulates a trade-off between longevity and reproduction dictated by the limitation of available resources. The optimal allocation of resources to self-maintenance depends on the environment. In particular, increased allocation to self-maintenance is predicted to maximize fitness when nutrients are scarce. Combining theory and experiment, I will investigate how the optimal allocation of resources to self-maintenance depends on nutrient availability using the nematode C. elegans as a model system. I will quantify the partitioning of resources between self-maintenance and reproduction using isotope labelling and kinetic modelling, and modulate resource allocation using available genetic alleles and directed mutation. Employing a competitive growth assay, I will test if fitness depends on resource allocation by an inverse U-shaped function, as predicted by theory and examine how the optimal resource allocation depends on nutrient availability. I will thereby assess if worms adapt their rate of aging to maximize their fitness in different environments. Ultimately, the proposed combination of mathematical modelling and developmental genetics will pave the way for a new line of research using optimality principles to study organismal development.

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The information about "OPTIAGE" are provided by the European Opendata Portal: CORDIS opendata.

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