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DNA methylation markers of age(ing) and other things in non-model organisms
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  • Marianthi Tangili,
  • Annabel Slettenhaar,
  • Joanna Sudyka,
  • Hannah Dugdale,
  • Ido Pen,
  • Per Palsboll,
  • Simon Verhulst
Marianthi Tangili
Groningen University Faculty of Science and Engineering

Corresponding Author:[email protected]

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Annabel Slettenhaar
Groningen University Faculty of Science and Engineering
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Joanna Sudyka
Institute of Environmental Sciences, Jagellonian University, ul.Gronostajowa 7, 30-387 Krakow
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Hannah Dugdale
Groningen Institute for Evolutionary Life Sciences
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Ido Pen
University of Groningen
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Per Palsboll
University of Groningen
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Simon Verhulst
University of Groningen
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An accurate inference of the chronological and biological age of individuals is fundamental to population ecology and our understanding of ageing itself, its evolution and the biological processes that affect or even cause ageing. In humans, epigenetic clocks based on the DNA methylation (DNAm) at selected CpG sites correlate highly with chronological age. Discrepancies between the inferred epigenetic and known chronological age predict morbidity and mortality, and therefore epigenetic clocks are thought to reflect biological age. Recently, a growing number epigenetic clocks in non-model organisms have been developed towards a diverse array of purposes in commercial, conservation and ageing research. Here we review those studies and conduct the first meta-analysis to assess the effects of different aspects of experimental protocol on the accuracy of epigenetic clocks for non-model species. Our analysis reveals higher coefficients of determination (R2) of chronological age for epigenetic clocks based on the HorvathMammalMethylChip4, compared to other DNAm quantification approaches. No dependence of (R2) was detected for the number of CpG sites in a clock; the sample size; the number or kind of tissue(s) used; the class of animals; or whether captive or wild animals were sampled to infer the epigenetic clocks. We further conclude that epigenetic clocks can predict chronological age with relatively high accuracy, suggesting great potential for the field of ecological epigenetics. We therefore encourage further research on the topic of ecological epigenetics in relation to ageing and, perhaps more importantly, discuss the potential of employing DNAm to assess key traits other than age.
15 Feb 2023Submitted to Molecular Ecology
17 Feb 2023Submission Checks Completed
17 Feb 2023Assigned to Editor
17 Feb 2023Review(s) Completed, Editorial Evaluation Pending
17 Feb 2023Reviewer(s) Assigned
28 Mar 2023Editorial Decision: Revise Minor
11 May 20231st Revision Received
12 May 2023Submission Checks Completed
12 May 2023Assigned to Editor
12 May 2023Review(s) Completed, Editorial Evaluation Pending
12 May 2023Reviewer(s) Assigned
08 Jun 2023Editorial Decision: Revise Minor
16 Jun 20232nd Revision Received
19 Jun 2023Assigned to Editor
19 Jun 2023Submission Checks Completed
19 Jun 2023Review(s) Completed, Editorial Evaluation Pending
20 Jun 2023Editorial Decision: Accept