The clonal age in paramecia refers to the total number of vegetative divisions a clone has undergone since its origin at autogamy (self-fertilization).
As clonal age increases, the interfission time usually increases. The DNA synthesis pattern of cells of different ages was compared by autoradiographic analysis of the DNA synthesis of synchronized cells at various time intervals during the cell cycle (from one division to the next). The study showed that the G1 period (the lag in DNA synthesis post division) was constant, irrespective of interfission time or clonal age; but the duration of the DNA synthesis period increased with increased interfission time or clonal age. Therefore, we have shown for the first time that the G1 period is fixed, and the S period is increased in a eukaryotic unicellular organism as a function of interfission time and clonal age.