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Selective sweeps of mitochondrial DNA can drive the evolution of uniparental inheritance


Christie, Joshua R; Beekman, Madeleine (2017). Selective sweeps of mitochondrial DNA can drive the evolution of uniparental inheritance. Evolution, 71(8):2090-2099.

Abstract

Although the uniparental (or maternal) inheritance of mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) is widespread, the reasons for its evolution remain unclear. Two main hypotheses have been proposed: selection against individuals containing different mtDNAs (heteroplasmy) and selection against "selfish" mtDNA mutations. Recently, uniparental inheritance was shown to promote adaptive evolution in mtDNA, potentially providing a third hypothesis for its evolution. Here, we explore this hypothesis theoretically and ask if the accumulation of beneficial mutations provides a sufficient fitness advantage for uniparental inheritance to invade a population in which mtDNA is inherited biparentally. In a deterministic model, uniparental inheritance increases in frequency but cannot replace biparental inheritance if only a single beneficial mtDNA mutation sweeps through the population. When we allow successive selective sweeps of mtDNA, however, uniparental inheritance can replace biparental inheritance. Using a stochastic model, we show that a combination of selection and drift facilitates the fixation of uniparental inheritance (compared to a neutral trait) when there is only a single selective mtDNA sweep. When we consider multiple mtDNA sweeps in a stochastic model, uniparental inheritance becomes even more likely to replace biparental inheritance. Our findings thus suggest that selective sweeps of beneficial mtDNA haplotypes can drive the evolution of uniparental inheritance.

Abstract

Although the uniparental (or maternal) inheritance of mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) is widespread, the reasons for its evolution remain unclear. Two main hypotheses have been proposed: selection against individuals containing different mtDNAs (heteroplasmy) and selection against "selfish" mtDNA mutations. Recently, uniparental inheritance was shown to promote adaptive evolution in mtDNA, potentially providing a third hypothesis for its evolution. Here, we explore this hypothesis theoretically and ask if the accumulation of beneficial mutations provides a sufficient fitness advantage for uniparental inheritance to invade a population in which mtDNA is inherited biparentally. In a deterministic model, uniparental inheritance increases in frequency but cannot replace biparental inheritance if only a single beneficial mtDNA mutation sweeps through the population. When we allow successive selective sweeps of mtDNA, however, uniparental inheritance can replace biparental inheritance. Using a stochastic model, we show that a combination of selection and drift facilitates the fixation of uniparental inheritance (compared to a neutral trait) when there is only a single selective mtDNA sweep. When we consider multiple mtDNA sweeps in a stochastic model, uniparental inheritance becomes even more likely to replace biparental inheritance. Our findings thus suggest that selective sweeps of beneficial mtDNA haplotypes can drive the evolution of uniparental inheritance.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:07 Faculty of Science > Institute of Evolutionary Biology and Environmental Studies
Dewey Decimal Classification:570 Life sciences; biology
590 Animals (Zoology)
Language:English
Date:2017
Deposited On:17 Jan 2018 18:30
Last Modified:19 Feb 2018 10:22
Publisher:Wiley-Blackwell Publishing, Inc.
ISSN:0014-3820
OA Status:Closed
Free access at:Publisher DOI. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1111/evo.13291
PubMed ID:28640391

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