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  1. Dam, Hans G. (Ed.)
    The marine copepod, Tigriopus californicus , produces the red carotenoid pigment astaxanthin from yellow dietary precursors. This ‘bioconversion’ of yellow carotenoids to red is hypothesized to be linked to individual condition, possibly through shared metabolic pathways with mitochondrial oxidative phosphorylation. Experimental inter-population crosses of lab-reared T . californicus typically produces low-fitness hybrids is due in large part to the disruption of coadapted sets nuclear and mitochondrial genes within the parental populations. These hybrid incompatibilities can increase variability in life history traits and energy production among hybrid lines. Here, we tested if production of astaxanthin was compromised in hybrid copepods and if it was linked to mitochondrial metabolism and offspring development. We observed no clear mitonuclear dysfunction in hybrids fed a limited, carotenoid-deficient diet of nutritional yeast. However, when yellow carotenoids were restored to their diet, hybrid lines produced less astaxanthin than parental lines. We observed that lines fed a yeast diet produced less ATP and had slower offspring development compared to lines fed a more complete diet of algae, suggesting the yeast-only diet may have obscured effects of mitonuclear dysfunction. Astaxanthin production was not significantly associated with development among lines fed a yeast diet but was negatively related to developmentmore »in early generation hybrids fed an algal diet. In lines fed yeast, astaxanthin was negatively related to ATP synthesis, but in lines fed algae, the relationship was reversed. Although the effects of the yeast diet may have obscured evidence of hybrid dysfunction, these results suggest that astaxanthin bioconversion may still be related to mitochondrial performance and reproductive success.« less
  2. Belgrano, Andrea (Ed.)
    We found a startling correlation (Pearson ρ > 0.97) between a single event in daily sea surface temperatures each spring, and peak fish egg abundance measurements the following summer, in 7 years of approximately weekly fish egg abundance data collected at Scripps Pier in La Jolla California. Even more surprising was that this event-based result persisted despite the large and variable number of fish species involved (up to 46), and the large and variable time interval between trigger and response (up to ~3 months). To mitigate potential over-fitting, we made an out-of-sample prediction beyond the publication process for the peak summer egg abundance observed at Scripps Pier in 2020 (available on bioRxiv). During peer-review, the prediction failed, and while it would be tempting to explain this away as a result of the record-breaking toxic algal bloom that occurred during the spring (9x higher concentration of dinoflagellates than ever previously recorded), a re-examination of our methodology revealed a potential source of over-fitting that had not been evaluated for robustness. This cautionary tale highlights the importance of testable true out-of-sample predictions of future values that cannot (even accidentally) be used in model fitting, and that can therefore catch model assumptions that maymore »otherwise escape notice. We believe that this example can benefit the current push towards ecology as a predictive science and support the notion that predictions should live and die in the public domain, along with the models that made them.« less
  3. Oxidative phosphorylation, the primary source of cellular energy in eukaryotes, requires gene products encoded in both the nuclear and mitochondrial genomes. As a result, functional integration between the genomes is essential for efficient adenosine triphosphate (ATP) generation. Although within populations this integration is presumably maintained by coevolution, the importance of mitonuclear coevolution in key biological processes such as speciation and mitochondrial disease has been questioned. In this study, we crossed populations of the intertidal copepodTigriopus californicusto disrupt putatively coevolved mitonuclear genotypes in reciprocal F2hybrids. We utilized interindividual variation in developmental rate among these hybrids as a proxy for fitness to assess the strength of selection imposed on the nuclear genome by alternate mitochondrial genotypes. Developmental rate varied among hybrid individuals, and in vitro ATP synthesis rates of mitochondria isolated from high-fitness hybrids were approximately two-fold greater than those of mitochondria isolated from low-fitness individuals. We then used Pool-seq to compare nuclear allele frequencies for high- or low-fitness hybrids. Significant biases for maternal alleles were detected on 5 (of 12) chromosomes in high-fitness individuals of both reciprocal crosses, whereas maternal biases were largely absent in low-fitness individuals. Therefore, the most fit hybrids were those with nuclear alleles that matched their mitochondrialmore »genotype on these chromosomes, suggesting that mitonuclear effects underlie individual-level variation in developmental rate and that intergenomic compatibility is critical for high fitness. We conclude that mitonuclear interactions can have profound impacts on both physiological performance and the evolutionary trajectory of the nuclear genome.

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