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, 110 (1), 57-62

Paternal Transmission of Mitochondrial DNA as an Integral Part of Mitochondrial Inheritance in Metapopulations of Drosophila Simulans

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Paternal Transmission of Mitochondrial DNA as an Integral Part of Mitochondrial Inheritance in Metapopulations of Drosophila Simulans

J N Wolff et al. Heredity (Edinb).

Abstract

Maternal inheritance is one of the hallmarks of animal mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) and central to its success as a molecular marker. This mode of inheritance and subsequent lack of heterologous recombination allows us to retrace evolutionary relationships unambiguously down the matriline and without the confounding effects of recombinant genetic information. Accumulating evidence of biparental inheritance of mtDNA (paternal leakage), however, challenges our current understanding of how this molecule is inherited. Here, using Drosophila simulans collected from an East African metapopulation exhibiting recurring mitochondrial heteroplasmy, we conducted single fly matings and screened F1 offspring for the presence of paternal mtDNA using allele-specific PCR assays (AS-PCR). In all, 27 out of 4092 offspring were identified as harboring paternal mtDNA, suggesting a frequency of 0.66% paternal leakage in this species. Our findings strongly suggest that recurring mtDNA heteroplasmy as observed in natural populations of Drosophila simulans is most likely caused by repeated paternal leakage. Our findings further suggest that this phenomenon to potentially be an integral part of mtDNA inheritance in these populations and consequently of significance for mtDNA as a molecular marker.

Figures

Figure 1
Figure 1
Subset of samples revealing paternal mtDNA using AS-PCR1. M: 100 bp ladder; 1 and 2: two positive cases from pair #4; 3 and 4: two positive cases pair from #21; 5 and 6: two positive cases from pair #72; 7 and 8: two positive cases from pair #85; 9: no template control; 10: positive control for 2-KY0418; 11: positive control for 3-KY0410. Gender of offspring: 1, 2, 5–7: female; 3, 4, 8: male.

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