Longevity is linked to mitochondrial mutation rates in rockfish: a test using poisson regression

Hua, Xia, Cowman, Peter, Warren, Dan, and Bromham, Lindell (2015) Longevity is linked to mitochondrial mutation rates in rockfish: a test using poisson regression. Molecules and Cells, 32 (10). pp. 2633-2645.

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Abstract

The mitochondrial theory of ageing proposes that the cumulative effect of biochemical damage in mitochondria causes mitochondrial mutations and plays a key role in ageing. Numerous studies have applied comparative approaches to test one of the predictions of the theory: That the rate of mitochondrial mutations is negatively correlated with longevity. Comparative studies face three challenges in detecting correlates of mutation rate: Covariation of mutation rates between species due to ancestry, covariation between life-history traits, and difficulty obtaining accurate estimates of mutation rate. We address these challenges using a novel Poisson regression method to examine the link between mutation rate and lifespan in rockfish (Sebastes). This method has better performance than traditional sister-species comparisons when sister species are too recently diverged to give reliable estimates of mutation rate. Rockfish are an ideal model system: They have long life spans with indeterminate growth and little evidence of senescence, which minimizes the confounding tradeoffs between lifespan and fecundity. We show that lifespan in rockfish is negatively correlated to rate of mitochondrial mutation, but not the rate of nuclear mutation. The life history of rockfish allows us to conclude that this relationship is unlikely to be driven by the tradeoffs between longevity and fecundity, or by the frequency of DNA replications in the germline. Instead, the relationship is compatible with the hypothesis that mutation rates are reduced by selection in long-lived taxa to reduce the chance of mitochondrial damage over its lifespan, consistent with the mitochondrial theory of ageing.

Item ID: 49189
Item Type: Article (Refereed Research - C1)
Keywords: substitution rates, sister pairs, molecular evolution
ISSN: 0219-1032
Funders: Australian Research Council (ARC)
Date Deposited: 07 Jun 2017 07:30
FoR Codes: 06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0603 Evolutionary Biology > 060309 Phylogeny and Comparative Analysis @ 40%
06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0604 Genetics > 060409 Molecular Evolution @ 30%
06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0602 Ecology > 060205 Marine and Estuarine Ecology (incl Marine Ichthyology) @ 30%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9608 Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity > 960808 Marine Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity @ 50%
97 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 970106 Expanding Knowledge in the Biological Sciences @ 50%
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