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Measuring vertebrate telomeres: applications and limitations

Nakagawa, S., Gemmell, N.J. and Burke, T. (2004) Measuring vertebrate telomeres: applications and limitations. Molecular Ecology, 13 (9). pp. 2523-2533. ISSN 0962-1083


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Telomeres are short tandem repeated sequences of DNA found at the ends of eukaryotic chromosomes that function in stabilizing chromosomal end integrity. In vivo studies of somatic tissue of mammals and birds have shown a correlation between telomere length and organismal age within species, and correlations between telomere shortening rate and lifespan among species. This result presents the tantalizing possibility that telomere length could be used to provide much needed information on age, ageing and survival in natural populations where longitudinal studies are lacking. Here we review methods available for measuring telomere length and discuss the potential uses and limitations of telomeres as age and ageing estimators in the fields of vertebrate ecology, evolution and conservation.

Item Type: Article
Copyright, Publisher and Additional Information: © 2004 Blackwell Science Ltd. This is an electronic version of an article published in Molecular Ecology: complete citation information for the final version of the paper, as published in the print edition of Molecular Ecology, is available on the Blackwell Synergy online delivery service, accessible via the journal's website at http://www.blackwellpublishing.com/journal.asp?ref=0962-1083 or http://www.blackwell-synergy.com/
Keywords: age, ageing, biological age, chronological age, estimator, telomere length, telomere shortening
Institution: The University of Sheffield
Academic Units: The University of Sheffield > Faculty of Science (Sheffield) > School of Biological Sciences (Sheffield) > Department of Animal and Plant Sciences (Sheffield)
Depositing User: Sherpa Assistant
Date Deposited: 21 Mar 2005
Last Modified: 05 Jun 2014 05:37
Published Version: http://www.blackwell-synergy.com/
Status: Published
Refereed: Yes
Identification Number: 10.1111/j.1365-294X.2004.02291.x
URI: http://eprints.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/353

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