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  1. Free, publicly-accessible full text available June 1, 2024
  2. Abstract

    Complexity in prezygotic mating behavior can contribute to the emergence of sexual incompatibility and reproductive isolation. In this study, we performed behavioral tests with two tidepool copepod species of the genus Tigriopus to explore the possibility of precopulatory behavioral isolation. We found that interspecific mating attempts failed prior to genital contact, and that this failure occurred at different behavioral steps between reciprocal pairings. Our results suggest that prezygotic barriers may exist at multiple points of the behavioral process on both male and female sides, possibly due to interspecific differences in mate-recognition cues used at those “checkpoints.” While many copepod species are known to show unique precopulatory mate-guarding behavior, the potential contribution of prezygotic behavioral factors to their isolation is not widely recognized. The pattern of sequential mate-guarding behaviors may have allowed the diversification of precopulatory communication and contributed to the evolutionary diversity of the Tigriopus copepods.

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  3. Abstract

    All mitochondrial-encoded proteins and RNAs function through interactions with nuclear-encoded proteins, which are critical for mitochondrial performance and eukaryotic fitness. Coevolution maintains inter-genomic (i.e., mitonuclear) compatibility within a taxon, but hybridization can disrupt coevolved interactions, resulting in hybrid breakdown. Thus, mitonuclear incompatibilities may be important mechanisms underlying reproductive isolation and, potentially, speciation. Here we utilize Pool-seq to assess the effects of mitochondrial genotype on nuclear allele frequencies in fast- and slow-developing reciprocal inter-population F2 hybrids between relatively low-divergence populations of the intertidal copepod Tigriopus californicus. We show that mitonuclear interactions lead to elevated frequencies of coevolved (i.e., maternal) nuclear alleles on two chromosomes in crosses between populations with 1.5% or 9.6% fixed differences in mitochondrial DNA nucleotide sequence. However, we also find evidence of excess mismatched (i.e., noncoevolved) alleles on three or four chromosomes per cross, respectively, and of allele frequency differences consistent with effects involving only nuclear loci (i.e., unaffected by mitochondrial genotype). Thus, our results for low-divergence crosses suggest an underlying role for mitonuclear interactions in variation in hybrid developmental rate, but despite substantial effects of mitonuclear coevolution on individual chromosomes, no clear bias favoring coevolved interactions overall.

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  4. Katz, Laura A (Ed.)
    Abstract Sterility among hybrids is one of the most prevalent forms of reproductive isolation delineating species boundaries and is expressed disproportionately in heterogametic XY males. While hybrid male sterility (HMS) due to the “large X effect” is a well-recognized mechanism of reproductive isolation, it is less clear how HMS manifests in species that lack heteromorphic sex chromosomes. We evaluated differences in allele frequencies at approximately 460,000 SNPs between fertile and sterile F2 interpopulation male hybrids to characterize the genomic architecture of HMS in a species without sex chromosomes (Tigriopus californicus). We tested associations between HMS and mitochondrial-nuclear and/or nuclear-nuclear signatures of incompatibility. Genomic regions associated with HMS were concentrated on a single chromosome with the same primary 2-Mbp regions identified in one pair of reciprocal crosses. Gene Ontology analysis revealed that annotations associated with spermatogenesis were the most overrepresented within the implicated region, with nine protein-coding genes connected with this process found in the quantitative trait locus of chromosome 2. Our results indicate that a narrow genomic region was associated with the sterility of male hybrids in T. californicus and suggest that incompatibilities among select nuclear loci may replace the large X effect when sex chromosomes are absent. 
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    Free, publicly-accessible full text available June 1, 2024
  5. Abstract

    Mitochondrial functions are intimately reliant on proteins and RNAs encoded in both the nuclear and mitochondrial genomes, leading to inter‐genomic coevolution within taxa. Hybridization can break apart coevolved mitonuclear genotypes, resulting in decreased mitochondrial performance and reduced fitness. This hybrid breakdown is an important component of outbreeding depression and early‐stage reproductive isolation. However, the mechanisms contributing to mitonuclear interactions remain poorly resolved. Here, we scored variation in developmental rate (a proxy for fitness) among reciprocal F2interpopulation hybrids of the intertidal copepodTigriopus californicusand used RNA sequencing to assess differences in gene expression between fast‐ and slow‐developing hybrids. In total, differences in expression associated with developmental rate were detected for 2925 genes, whereas only 135 genes were differentially expressed as a result of differences in mitochondrial genotype. Upregulated expression in fast developers was enriched for genes involved in chitin‐based cuticle development, oxidation–reduction processes, hydrogen peroxide catabolic processes and mitochondrial respiratory chain complex I. In contrast, upregulation in slow developers was enriched for DNA replication, cell division, DNA damage and DNA repair. Eighty‐four nuclear‐encoded mitochondrial genes were differentially expressed between fast‐ and slow‐developing copepods, including 12 subunits of the electron transport system (ETS) which all had higher expression in fast developers than in slow developers. Nine of these genes were subunits of ETS complex I. Our results emphasize the major roles that mitonuclear interactions within the ETS, particularly in complex I, play in hybrid breakdown, and resolve strong candidate genes for involvement in mitonuclear interactions.

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  6. 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 development 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. 
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  7. 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 may 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. 
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  8. 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 mitochondrial 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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