Telomeres in Aging: Birds

Susan E. Swanberg, Mary E. Delany

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

9 Scopus citations


This chapter describes the use of avian species as model organisms for research in telomere biology and aging. Cellular or replicative senescence is often utilized as a model for the aging process because of the hypothesis that cellular aging recapitulates organismal aging. A genomic alteration associated with cellular or replicative senescence in a variety of organisms, including the chicken, is the shortening of telomeres. Telomere arrays have been examined in a wide sampling of avian species, including chicken, using fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH). A PCR-based technique that can be used to compare the abundance of telomere repeats is quantitative real-time PCR (Q-PCR). This technique quantifies the fold difference between telomere-repeat copy number in an experimental sample compared to a reference DNA sample. Real-time fluorescence-based PCR and RT-PCR have emerged as powerful methods for examining gene expression patterns in many contexts. In traditional PCR, an amplicon, which accumulates after a predetermined number of cycles, is analyzed by gel electrophoresis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationHandbook of Models for Human Aging
Number of pages11
ISBN (Electronic)9780123693914
StatePublished - Jan 1 2006
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)


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