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Brief Report

Accurate Epigenetic Aging in Bottlenose Dolphins (Tursiops truncatus), an Essential Step in the Conservation of at-Risk Dolphins

1
Conservation Medicine Division, National Marine Mammal Foundation, San Diego, CA 92106, USA
2
Centre for Research into Ecological and Environmental Modelling, University of St Andrews, St Andrews KY16 9LZ2, UK
3
Department of Mathematics and Statistics, Washington State University, Vancouver, WA 98686, USA
4
School of Biological, Earth and Environmental Sciences, University College Cork, T23 N73K Cork, Ireland
5
Department of Biostatistics, Fielding School of Public Health, University of California, Los Angeles, CA 90095, USA
6
Department of Human Genetics, David Geffen School of Medicine, University of California, Los Angeles, CA 90095, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Lance Miller
J. Zool. Bot. Gard. 2021, 2(3), 416-420; https://doi.org/10.3390/jzbg2030030
Received: 2 July 2021 / Revised: 25 July 2021 / Accepted: 27 July 2021 / Published: 6 August 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cetaceans: Conservation, Health, and Welfare)
Epigenetics, specifically DNA methylation, allows for the estimation of animal age from blood or remotely sampled skin. This multi-tissue epigenetic age estimation clock uses 110 longitudinal samples from 34 Navy bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus), identifying 195 cytosine-phosphate-guanine sites associated with chronological aging via cross-validation with one individual left out in each fold (R2 = 0.95). With a median absolute error of 2.5 years, this clock improves age estimation capacity in wild dolphins, helping conservation efforts and enabling a better understanding of population demographics. View Full-Text
Keywords: DNA methylation; epigenetics; aging; bottlenose dolphin; chronological age DNA methylation; epigenetics; aging; bottlenose dolphin; chronological age
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MDPI and ACS Style

Barratclough, A.; Smith, C.R.; Gomez, F.M.; Photopoulou, T.; Takeshita, R.; Pirotta, E.; Thomas, L.; McClain, A.M.; Parry, C.; Zoller, J.A.; Horvath, S.; Schwacke, L.H. Accurate Epigenetic Aging in Bottlenose Dolphins (Tursiops truncatus), an Essential Step in the Conservation of at-Risk Dolphins. J. Zool. Bot. Gard. 2021, 2, 416-420. https://doi.org/10.3390/jzbg2030030

AMA Style

Barratclough A, Smith CR, Gomez FM, Photopoulou T, Takeshita R, Pirotta E, Thomas L, McClain AM, Parry C, Zoller JA, Horvath S, Schwacke LH. Accurate Epigenetic Aging in Bottlenose Dolphins (Tursiops truncatus), an Essential Step in the Conservation of at-Risk Dolphins. Journal of Zoological and Botanical Gardens. 2021; 2(3):416-420. https://doi.org/10.3390/jzbg2030030

Chicago/Turabian Style

Barratclough, Ashley, Cynthia R. Smith, Forrest M. Gomez, Theoni Photopoulou, Ryan Takeshita, Enrico Pirotta, Len Thomas, Abby M. McClain, Celeste Parry, Joseph A. Zoller, Steve Horvath, and Lori H. Schwacke. 2021. "Accurate Epigenetic Aging in Bottlenose Dolphins (Tursiops truncatus), an Essential Step in the Conservation of at-Risk Dolphins" Journal of Zoological and Botanical Gardens 2, no. 3: 416-420. https://doi.org/10.3390/jzbg2030030

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