Supplementary material from "Revisiting the hypothesis of an energetic barrier to genome complexity between eukaryotes and prokaryotes"

Published on 2020-02-27T14:58:25Z (GMT) by
The absence of genome complexity in prokaryotes, being the evolutionary precursors to eukaryotic cells comprising all complex life (the prokaryote–eukaryote divide), is a long-standing question in evolutionary biology. A previous study hypothesized that the divide exists because prokaryotic genome size is constrained by bioenergetics (prokaryotic power per gene or genome being significantly lower than eukaryotic ones). However, this hypothesis was evaluated using a relatively small dataset due to lack of data availability at the time, and is therefore controversial. Accordingly, we constructed a larger dataset of genomes, metabolic rates, cell sizes and ploidy levels to investigate whether an energetic barrier to genome complexity exists between eukaryotes and prokaryotes while statistically controlling for the confounding effects of cell size and phylogenetic signals. Notably, we showed that the differences in bioenergetics between prokaryotes and eukaryotes were less significant than those previously reported. More importantly, we found a limited contribution of power per genome and power per gene to the prokaryote–eukaryote dichotomy. Our findings indicate that the prokaryote–eukaryote divide is hard to explain from the energetic perspective. However, our findings may not entirely discount the traditional hypothesis; in contrast, they indicate the need for more careful examinations.

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Chiyomaru, Katsumi; Takemoto, Kazuhiro (2020): Supplementary material from "Revisiting the hypothesis of an energetic barrier to genome complexity between eukaryotes and prokaryotes". The Royal Society. Collection. https://doi.org/10.6084/m9.figshare.c.4840296