Intergenomic Interactions in Hybrids Between Short-Lived and Long-Lived Lines of a Seed Beetle: Analyses of Life History Traits
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Products and regulatory motifs of the mitochondrial and nuclear genomes interact closely to enable efficient cellular energy production within mitochondria. Although recent evidences support the prediction that during evolutionary time combinations of these interactions are optimized by selection acting on important life history traits, relatively few studies have directly tested it. The goal of this study was to test the role of mitonuclear interactions in shaping preadult and adult life history traits under age-specific selection in the seed beetle (Acanthoscelides obtectus). In order to disentangle the effects of mitochondria, nuclei and their interaction in the evolutionary response to the long-term laboratory selection for early (E) and late (L) reproduction, we used mitonuclear introgression lines in which E and L mitochondrial genomes were expressed in both E and L nuclear background. We found that mitonuclear genotypes carrying disrupted pair of nuclear and mitochondrial genomes mainly affected preadult life history traits-egg-to-adult viability and developmental time. Neither mitochondria nor their interaction with nuclear genomes had effects on realized fecundity of mated females and longevity of virgin beetles. However, when involved in reproductive activities females and males with disrupted genotypes mostly exhibited reduced longevity. Furthermore, since reproduced males exhibited greater longevity cost than females, our results are in accordance with the mother's curse hypothesis. Being that for the most life history traits we detected smaller additive mitochondrial genetic effects compared with epistatic mitonuclear effects, we concluded that mitonuclear interactions might be the target of age-specific selection.