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Mitochondrial inheritance in phylogenetic trees

Grant number: 18/11187-8
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Post-Doctorate
Effective date (Start): February 01, 2019
Effective date (End): January 31, 2022
Field of knowledge:Physical Sciences and Mathematics - Physics - General Physics
Principal researcher:Marcus Aloizio Martinez de Aguiar
Grantee:Débora Princepe
Home Institution: Instituto de Física Gleb Wataghin (IFGW). Universidade Estadual de Campinas (UNICAMP). Campinas , SP, Brazil
Associated research grant:16/01343-7 - ICTP South American Institute for Fundamental Research: a regional center for theoretical physics, AP.TEM
Associated scholarship(s):19/24449-3 - Evolution of the mitonuclear genetic interaction, BE.EP.PD

Abstract

The mitochondrial genetic material, or mtDNA, is widely used as a bar code, given its characteristics of high evolutionary rate, uniparental inheritance, and conservation of the genetic content, besides having a small and simple structure. The analysis of this material allows to infer about the population structure and gene flow and to investigate phylogenetic relationships, the occurrence of hybridizations and biogeography. More recently, the hypothesis of a more fundamental role of the mitochondrial DNA in the speciation process has been explored, with strong evidences of the coevolution with the nuclear DNA, once that crucial processes as the respiration depend on genes of both sources. Given the observation of genetic signatures of this coevolution in several taxa, we propose the in-depth study of the mitonuclear genetic interaction in the speciation process. In particular, we will work with a population evolving according to the Derrida-Higgs sympatric speciation model and we propose the analysis of phylogenetic trees built from the mitochondrial and from the nuclear genomes. In this model, hermaphroditeindividuals have infinitely large genomes and sexual reproduction under assortative mating leads to speciation even in a flat fitness landscape. We propose to modify the model, including sexual separation and a finite chromosome representing mitochondrial DNA, to be inherited only from the mother. By maintaining control of both piecesof genetic material, the infinite recombinant part involved in assortative mating and the non-recombinant finite mitochondrial part, we will build and compare the resulting phylogenetic trees. These trees will also be compared to the "true" trees obtained followingall the events of speciation and extinction during the simulation. By modeling the geneticinteraction between mitochondrial and nuclear DNA, we expect to identify signatures of this interaction in the phylogenetic trees, also comparing with literature data, where evidence of the mitonuclear coevolution has been reported, as well analyzing phenomena such as introgression, fusions, and species extinction. (AU)

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Scientific publications
(References retrieved automatically from Web of Science and SciELO through information on FAPESP grants and their corresponding numbers as mentioned in the publications by the authors)
PRINCEPE, DEBORA; DE AGUIAR, MARCUS A. M. Modeling Mito-nuclear Compatibility and Its Role in Species Identification. Systematic Biology, v. 70, n. 1, p. 133-144, JAN 2021. Web of Science Citations: 1.

Please report errors in scientific publications list by writing to: cdi@fapesp.br.