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Coadaptation of mitochondrial and nuclear genes, and the cost of mother's curse

Connallon, T; Camus, MF; Morrow, EH; Dowling, DK; (2018) Coadaptation of mitochondrial and nuclear genes, and the cost of mother's curse. Proc. R. Soc. B , 285 (1871) , Article 20172257. 10.1098/rspb.2017.2257. Green open access

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Abstract

Strict maternal inheritance renders the mitochondrial genome susceptible to accumulating mutations that harm males, but are otherwise benign or beneficial for females. This ‘mother's curse’ effect can degrade male survival and fertility if unopposed by counteracting evolutionary processes. Coadaptation between nuclear and mitochondrial genomes—with nuclear genes evolving to compensate for male-harming mitochondrial substitutions—may ultimately resolve mother's curse. However, males are still expected to incur a transient fitness cost during mito-nuclear coevolution, and it remains unclear how severe such costs should be. We present a population genetic analysis of mito-nuclear coadaptation to resolve mother's curse effects, and show that the magnitude of the ‘male mitochondrial load’—the negative impact of mitochondrial substitutions on male fitness components—may be large, even when genetic variation for compensatory evolution is abundant. We also find that the male load is surprisingly sensitive to population size: male fitness costs of mito-nuclear coevolution are particularly pronounced in both small and large populations, and minimized in populations of intermediate size. Our results reveal complex interactions between demography and genetic constraints during the resolution of mother's curse, suggesting potentially widespread species differences in susceptibility to mother's curse effects.

Type: Article
Title: Coadaptation of mitochondrial and nuclear genes, and the cost of mother's curse
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1098/rspb.2017.2257
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1098/rspb.2017.2257
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
Keywords: Science & Technology, Life Sciences & Biomedicine, Biology, Ecology, Evolutionary Biology, Life Sciences & Biomedicine - Other Topics, Environmental Sciences & Ecology, epistasis, sex-specific selection, sexual conflict, adaptation, compensatory evolution, Cytoplasmic Male-Sterility, Drosophila-Melanogaster, Mitonuclear Interactions, Population Extinction, Germline Bottlenecks, Natural-Selection, Evolution, Sex, Fitness, Fertility
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences > Div of Biosciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences > Div of Biosciences > Genetics, Evolution and Environment
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10045954
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