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REVIEW: Multifaceted Nothobranchius

Elizaveta V. Bulavkina1,2, Alexander A. Kudryavtsev2, Margarita A. Goncharova2, Margarita S. Lantsova2, Anastasija I. Shuvalova2, Maxim A. Kovalev2, and Anna V. Kudryavtseva1,2,a*

1Center for Precision Genome Editing and Genetic Technologies for Biomedicine, Engelhardt Institute of Molecular Biology, Russian Academy of Sciences, 119991 Moscow, Russia

2Laboratory of Postgenomic Research, Engelhardt Institute of Molecular Biology, Russian Academy of Sciences, 119991 Moscow, Russia

* To whom correspondence should be addressed.

Received November 3, 2022; Revised November 11, 2022; Accepted November 11, 2022
Annual killifish of the genus Nothobranchius are seeing a rapid increase in scientific interest over the years. A variety of aspects surrounding the egg-laying Cyprinodontiformes is being extensively studied, including their aging. Inhabiting drying water bodies of Africa rarely allows survival through more than one rainy season for the Nothobranchius populations. Therefore, there is no lifespan-related bias in natural selection, which has ultimately led to the decreased efficiency of DNA repair system. Aging of the Nothobranchius species is studied both under normal conditions and under the influence of potential geroprotectors, as well as genetic modifications. Most biogerontological studies are conducted using the species Nothobranchius furzeri (GRZ isolate), which has a lifespan of 3 to 7 months. However, the list of model species of Nothobranchius is considerably wider, and the range of advanced research areas with their participation extends far beyond gerontology. This review summarizes the most interesting and promising topics developing in the studies of the fish of Nothobranchius genus. Both classical studies related to lifespan control and rather new ones are discussed, including mechanisms of diapause, challenges of systematics and phylogeny, evolution of sex determination mechanisms, changes in chromosome count, occurrence of multiple repeated DNA sequences in the genome, cognitive and behavioral features and social stratification, as well as methodological difficulties in working with Nothobranchius.
KEY WORDS: aging, animal models of aging, Nothobranchius, age-related diseases, diapause, lifespan, neurodegeneration, longevity, speciation, karyotype, stress

DOI: 10.1134/S0006297922120136