Fowl play and the price of petrel: long-living Procellariiformes have peroxidation-resistant membrane composition compared with short-living Galliformes
The membrane pacemaker hypothesis predicts that long-living species will have more peroxidation- resistant membrane lipids than shorter living species. We tested this hypothesis by comparing the fatty acid composition of heart phospholipids from long-living Procellariiformes (petrels and albatrosses) to those of shorter living Galliformes (fowl). The seabirds were obtained from by-catch of commercial fishing operations and the fowl values from published data. The 3.8-fold greater predicted longevity of the seabirds was associated with elevated content of peroxidation-resistant monounsaturates and reduced content of peroxidation-prone polyunsaturates and, consequently, a significantly reduced peroxidation index in heart membrane lipids, compared with fowl. Peroxidation-resistant membrane composition may be an important physiological trait for longevous species.