Data from: Telomere elongation during early development is independent of environmental temperatures in Atlantic salmon
McLennan, Darryl et al. (2018), Data from: Telomere elongation during early development is independent of environmental temperatures in Atlantic salmon, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.ct7h4ds
There is increasing evidence from endothermic vertebrates that telomeres, which cap the ends of chromosomes and play an important role in chromosome protection, decline in length during postnatal life and are a useful indicator of physiological state and expected lifespan. However, much less is currently known about telomere dynamics in ectothermic vertebrates, which are likely to differ from that of endotherms, at least in part due to the sensitivity of ectotherm physiology to environmental temperature. We report here on an experiment in which Atlantic salmon were reared through the embryonic and larval stages of development, and under differing temperatures, in order to examine the effects of environmental temperature during early life on telomere dynamics, oxidative DNA damage and cellular proliferation. Telomere length significantly increased between the embryonic and larval stages of development. Contrary to our expectations, variation in telomere length at the end of the larval stage was unrelated to either cell proliferation rate or the relative level of oxidative DNA damage, and did not vary between the temperature treatments. This study suggests that salmon are able to restore the length of their telomeres during early development, which may possibly help to buffer potentially harmful environmental effects experienced in early life.