Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Mitochondrial genes matter for survival and reproduction

Date:
January 14, 2014
Source:
Uppsala Universitet
Summary:
Contrary to common belief, mitochondrial genes seem to matter for how well individuals survive and reproduce. These new results are reported by researchers who studied the genes of a common beetle species. Mitochondria are vital power plants of cells. They carry their own genes, which are inherited only through females, and these genes vary greatly between individuals. Scientists have shown for the first time that differences in the mitochondrial genes that individuals carry actually affect how well they survive and reproduce.

Seed beetles of the species Callosobruchus maculatus. Contrary to common belief, mitochondrial genes seem to matter for how well individuals survive and reproduce. These new results are reported by researchers at Uppsala University, Sweden, who studied the genes of a common beetle species.
Credit: G๖ran Arnqvist

Contrary to common belief, mitochondrial genes seem to matter for how well individuals survive and reproduce. These new results are reported by researchers at Uppsala University who studied the genes of a common beetle species.

Related Articles


Mitochondria are vital power plants of cells. They carry their own genes, which are inherited only through females, and these genes vary greatly between individuals. In the latest issue of the scientific journal Ecology Letters, researchers from Uppsala University show for the first time that differences in the mitochondrial genes that individuals carry actually affect how well they survive and reproduce.

It took the researchers two years to conduct the experiments, where they followed 180 populations of the seed beetle Callosobruchus maculatus for more than 10 generations. The study was financed by the European Research Council and the Swedish Research Council and the results are based on gene sequence data from more than 2000 individuals.

Remarkably, the authors found that individuals who carried rare mitochondrial genes were consistently those who did best.

"This provides an explanation for why genetic variation is maintained, much like a pendulum of a clock will never stop in either of the extreme ... positions," says Professor G๖ran Arnqvist, one of the authors of the study.

For decades, much biological research has rested on the assumption that different variants of the same mitochondrial gene are equivalent in terms of function of the gene. These genes have therefore been extensively used as a neutral "markers" that allow, for example, determination the size of populations or reconstructions of the history of immigration into an area. The authors of the new study point out that this usage is very problematic indeed if different versions of the same mitochondrial gene are not functionally equivalent.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Uppsala Universitet. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Erem Kazancıoğlu, G๖ran Arnqvist. The maintenance of mitochondrial genetic variation by negative frequency-dependent selection. Ecology Letters, 2014; 17 (1): 22 DOI: 10.1111/ele.12195

Cite This Page:

Uppsala Universitet. "Mitochondrial genes matter for survival and reproduction." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 14 January 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/01/140114090820.htm>.
Uppsala Universitet. (2014, January 14). Mitochondrial genes matter for survival and reproduction. ScienceDaily. Retrieved March 31, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/01/140114090820.htm
Uppsala Universitet. "Mitochondrial genes matter for survival and reproduction." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/01/140114090820.htm (accessed March 31, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Soda, Salt and Sugar: The Next Generation of Taxes

Soda, Salt and Sugar: The Next Generation of Taxes

Washington Post (Mar. 30, 2015) — Denisa Livingston, a health advocate for the Din้ Community Advocacy Alliance, and the Post&apos;s Abby Phillip discuss efforts around the country to make unhealthy food choices hurt your wallet as much as your waistline. Video provided by Washington Post
Powered by NewsLook.com
UnitedHealth Buys Catamaran

UnitedHealth Buys Catamaran

Reuters - Business Video Online (Mar. 30, 2015) — The $12.8 billion merger will combine the U.S.&apos; third and fourth largest pharmacy benefit managers. Analysts say smaller PBMs could also merge. Fred Katayama reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
S. Leone in New Anti-Ebola Lockdown

S. Leone in New Anti-Ebola Lockdown

AFP (Mar. 28, 2015) — Sierra Leone imposed a three-day nationwide lockdown Friday for the second time in six months in a bid to prevent a resurgence of the deadly Ebola virus. Duration: 01:17 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
These Popular Antibiotics Can Cause Permanent Nerve Damage

These Popular Antibiotics Can Cause Permanent Nerve Damage

Newsy (Mar. 27, 2015) — A popular class of antibiotic can leave patients in severe pain and even result in permanent nerve damage. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins