Telomere dynamics in the Sydney rock oyster (Saccostrea glomerata): An investigation into the effects of age, tissue type, location and time of sampling

Rosamond Godwin*, Ian Brown, Steven Montgomery, Stewart Frusher, Timothy Green, Jennifer Ovenden

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Telomere length has been purported as a biomarker for age and could offer a non-lethal method for determining the age of wild-caught individuals. Molluscs, including oysters and abalone, are the basis of important fisheries globally and have been problematic to accurately age. To determine whether telomere length could provide an alternative means of ageing molluscs, we evaluated the relationship between telomere length and age using the commercially important Sydney rock oyster (Saccostrea glomerata). Telomere lengths were estimated from tissues of known age individuals from different age classes, locations and at different sampling times. Telomere length tended to decrease with age only in young oysters less than 18 months old, but no decrease was observed in older oysters aged 2-4 years. Regional and temporal differences in telomere attrition rates were also observed. The relationship between telomere length and age was weak, however, with individuals of identical age varying significantly in their telomere length making it an imprecise age biomarker in oysters.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)77-86
Number of pages10
JournalMarine Biology
Volume159
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2012
Externally publishedYes

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