Assessing the fitness consequences of mitonuclear interactions in natural populations

TitleAssessing the fitness consequences of mitonuclear interactions in natural populations
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2018
AuthorsHill GE, Havird JC, Sloan DB, Burton RS, Greening C, Dowling DK
Date Published2018/12

Metazoans exist only with a continuous and rich supply of chemical energy from oxidative phosphorylation in mitochondria. The oxidative phosphorylation machinery that mediates energy conservation is encoded by both mitochondrial and nuclear genes, and hence the products of these two genomes must interact closely to achieve coordinated function of core respiratory processes. It follows that selection for efficient respiration will lead to selection for compatible combinations of mitochondrial and nuclear genotypes, and this should facilitate coadaptation between mitochondrial and nuclear genomes (mitonuclear coadaptation). Herein, we outline the modes by which mitochondrial and nuclear genomes may coevolve within natural populations, and we discuss the implications of mitonuclear coadaptation for diverse fields of study in the biological sciences. We identify five themes in the study of mitonuclear interactions that provide a roadmap for both ecological and biomedical studies seeking to measure the contribution of intergenomic coadaptation to the evolution of natural populations. We also explore the wider implications of the fitness consequences of mitonuclear interactions, focusing on central debates within the fields of ecology and biomedicine.

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