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Creators/Authors contains: "Healy, Timothy M."

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  1. 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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  2. 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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  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 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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  4. Abstract

    Variation in the metabolic costs associated with organismal maintenance may play a key role in determining fitness, and thus these differences among individuals are likely to be subject to natural selection. Although the evolvability of maintenance metabolism depends on its underlying genetic architecture, relatively little is known about the nature of genetic variation that underlies this trait. To address this, we measured variation in routine metabolic rate (O2routine), an index of maintenance metabolism, within and among three populations of Atlantic killifish,Fundulus heteroclitus, including a population from a region of genetic admixture between two subspecies. Polygenic association tests among individuals from the admixed population identified 54 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) that were associated withO2routine, and these SNPs accounted for 43% of interindividual variation in this trait. However, genetic associations withO2routineinvolved different SNPs if females and males were analysed separately, and there was a sex‐dependent effect of mitochondrial genotype on variation in routine metabolism. These results imply that there are sex‐specific genetic mechanisms, and potential mitonuclear interactions, that underlie variation inO2routine. Additionally, there was evidence for epistatic interactions between 17% of the possible pairs of trait‐associated SNPs, suggesting that epistatic effects onO2routineare common. These data demonstrate not only that phenotypic variation in this ecologically important trait has a polygenic basis with considerable epistasis among loci, but also that these underlying genetic mechanisms, and particularly the role of mitochondrial genotype, may be sex‐specific.

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  5. Abstract

    The resilience of organisms to climate change through adaptive evolution is dependent on the extent of genetically based variation in key phenotypic traits and the nature of genetic associations between them. For aquatic animals, upper thermal tolerance and hypoxia tolerance are likely to be a important determinants of sensitivity to climate change. To determine the genetic basis of these traits and to detect associations between them, we compared naturally occurring populations of two subspecies of Atlantic killifish,Fundulus heteroclitus, that differ in both thermal and hypoxia tolerance. Multilocus association mapping demonstrated that 47 and 35 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) explained 43.4% and 51.9% of variation in thermal and hypoxia tolerance, respectively, suggesting that genetic mechanisms underlie a substantial proportion of variation in each trait. However, no explanatory SNPs were shared between traits, and upper thermal tolerance varied approximately linearly with latitude, whereas hypoxia tolerance exhibited a steep phenotypic break across the contact zone between the subspecies. These results suggest that upper thermal tolerance and hypoxia tolerance are neither phenotypically correlated nor genetically associated, and thus that rates of adaptive change in these traits can be independently fine‐tuned by natural selection. This modularity of important traits can underpin the evolvability of organisms to complex future environmental change.

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  6. Abstract

    The mitonuclear species concept hypothesizes that incompatibilities between interacting gene products of the nuclear and mitochondrial genomes are a major factor establishing and maintaining species boundaries. However, most of the data available to test this concept come from studies of genetic variation in mitochondrial DNA, and clines in the mitochondrial genome across contact zones can be produced by a variety of forces. Here, we show that using a combination of population genomic analyses of the nuclear and mitochondrial genomes and studies of mitochondrial function can provide insight into the relative roles of neutral processes, adaptive evolution, and mitonuclear incompatibility in establishing and maintaining mitochondrial clines, using Atlantic killifish (Fundulus heteroclitus) as a case study. There is strong evidence for a role of secondary contact following the last glaciation in shaping a steep mitochondrial cline across a contact zone between northern and southern subspecies of killifish, but there is also evidence for a role of adaptive evolution in driving differentiation between the subspecies in a variety of traits from the level of the whole organism to the level of mitochondrial function. In addition, studies are beginning to address the potential for mitonuclear incompatibilities in admixed populations. However, population genomic studies have failed to detect evidence for a strong and pervasive influence of mitonuclear incompatibilities, and we suggest that polygenic selection may be responsible for the complex patterns observed. This case study demonstrates that multiple forces can act together in shaping mitochondrial clines, and illustrates the challenge of disentangling their relative roles.

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