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Supplemental Material from Mitonuclear interactions alter sex-specific longevity in a species without sex chromosomes

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journal contribution
posted on 25.11.2021, 06:35 by Ben A. Flanagan, Ning Li, Suzanne Edmands
Impaired mitochondrial function can lead to senescence and the ageing phenotype. Theory predicts degenerative ageing phenotypes and mitochondrial pathologies may occur more frequently in males due to the matrilineal inheritance pattern of mitochondrial DNA observed in most eukaryotes. Here, we estimated the sex-specific longevity for parental and reciprocal F1 hybrid crosses for inbred lines derived from two allopatric Tigriopus californicus populations with over 20% mitochondrial DNA divergence. T. californicus lacks sex chromosomes allowing for more direct testing of mitochondrial function in sex-specific ageing. To better understand the ageing mechanism, we estimated two age-related phenotypes (mtDNA content and 8-hydroxy-20-deoxyguanosine (8-OH-dG) DNA damage) at two time points in the lifespan. Sex differences in lifespan depended on the mitochondrial and nuclear backgrounds, including differences between reciprocal F1 crosses which have different mitochondrial haplotypes on a 50 : 50 nuclear background, with nuclear contributions coming from alternative parents. Young females showed the highest mtDNA content which decreased with age, while DNA damage in males increased with age and exceed that of females 56 days after hatching. The adult sex ratio was male-biased and was attributed to complex mitonuclear interactions. Results thus demonstrate that sex differences in ageing depend on mitonuclear interactions in the absence of sex chromosomes.