Thursday, April 24, 2014

Lab meeting on sexual conflict, sexual selection and mito-nuclear genes

Posted by Anna Nordén

This coming lab meeting (Tuesday April 29th), we will discuss sexual selection and sexual conflict on the chromosome level. I have chosen a paper that deals with mito-sex chromosome interactions, inter-genomic coadaptation and conflict. Looking forward to some interesting discussions.

Authors: Rebecca Dean, Fabian Zimmer and Judith E. Mank

Abstract: Mitochondrial interactions with the nuclear genome represent one of life’s most important coevolved mutualisms. In many organisms, mitochondria are maternally inherited, and in these cases, co-transmission between the mitochondrial and nuclear genes differs across different parts of the nuclear genome, with genes on the X chromosome having 2/3 probability of co-transmission, compared to 1/2 for genes on autosomes. These asymmetrical inheritance patterns of mitochondria and different parts of the nuclear genome have the potential to put certain gene combinations in inter-genomic coadaptation or conflict. Previous work in mammals found strong evidence that the X chromosome has a dearth of genes that interact with the mitochondria (mito-nuclear genes), suggesting that inter-genomic conflict might drive genes off the X onto the autosomes for their male-beneficial effects. Here, we developed this idea to test co-adaptation and conflict between mito-nuclear gene combinations across phylogenetically independent sex chromosomes on a far broader scale. We found that, in addition to therian mammals, only C. elegans showed an under-representation of mito-nuclear genes on the sex chromosomes. The remaining species studied showed no overall bias in their distribution of mito-nuclear genes. We discuss possible factors other than inter-genomic conflict that might drive the genomic distribution of mito- nuclear genes.

In Argumentet (Ecology Building 2nd floor) at 11:30 – 12 as usual. I will bring fika!

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