Academy of Finland
Funding decision
Name Watts, Phillip
Organisation OY
Project title
Telomeres in wildlife – coping with environmental stress
Decision No. 287153
Decision date 11.05.2015
Funding period 01.09.2015 - 31.08.2019
Funding 491 331
WebFOCUS Report
Project description
Telomeres - the DNA and protein complexes that form a protective cap at the ends of linear chromosomes – are universal to all eukaryotes. Telomeres can be damaged when organisms experience stress. When telomeres are damaged then cells die prematurely; thus telomeres control the rate of ‘molecular aging’ and problems with telomere regulation may cause some types of cancer. Potentially important stressors may be extrinsic, such as those imposed by exposure to pollution, or intrinsically linked with cell function. In this project we will quantify how different stressors impact telomere homeostasis, and assess the mechanisms that different tissues may use to repair (or not) their telomeres in wildlife (bank vole) that inhabit the radioactively-contaminated areas surrounding the former Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant. We will also quantify how exposure to radioactivity interacts with telomere regulation to impact wildlife fitness.