Nothobranchius fish have a lifespan of approximately one year whereas zebrafish live up to 4-5 years. This finding suggested that if classical genetic approaches could be adapted to Nothobranchius, these annual fish would become an ideal vertebrate genetic model for studying longevity genes. In this chapter, we provide arguments and approaches for utilizing Nothobranchius to study the genetics of aging. Because Nothobranchius has a relatively short lifespan, has multiple strains, is a diploid organism, has high fecundity and most importantly is able to lay eggs until the end of their lives, this fish is an excellent animal model for studying genetics of vertebrate longevity. Various approaches to isolate long-lived mutants are described along with their utility for discovering antiaging drugs.
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When over eighty years of age, the poet Bryant said that he had added more than ten years to his life by taking a simple exercise while dressing in the morning. Those who knew Bryant and the facts of his life never doubted the truth of this statement.