Extensive mitochondrial population structure and haplotype-specific phenotypic variation in the Drosophila Genetic Reference Panel

BioRxiv : the Preprint Server for Biology
Roel PJ BeversBart Deplancke


The Drosophila Genetic Reference Panel (DGRP) serves as a valuable resource to better understand the genetic landscapes underlying quantitative traits. However, such DGRP studies have so far only focused on nuclear genetic variants. To address this, we sequenced the mitochondrial genomes of >170 DGRP lines, identifying 229 variants including 21 indels and 7 frameshifts. We used our mitochondrial variation data to identify 12 genetically distinct mitochondrial haplotypes, thus revealing important population structure at the mitochondrial level. We further examined whether this population structure was reflected on the nuclear genome by screening for the presence of potential mito-nuclear genetic incompatibilities in the form of significant genotype ratio distortions (GRDs) between mitochondrial and nuclear variants. In total, we detected a remarkable 1,845 mito-nuclear GRDs, with the highest enrichment observed in a 40 kb region around the gene Sex-lethal (Sxl). Intriguingly, downstream phenotypic analyses did not uncover major fitness effects associated with these GRDs, suggesting that a large number of mito-nuclear GRDs may reflect population structure at the mitochondrial level rather than actual genomic incompatibilities. Th...Continue Reading

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