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Inheritance of somatic mutations by animal offspring

Vasquez Kuntz, Kate L. and Kitchen, Sheila A. and Conn, Trinity L. and Vohsen, Samuel A. and Chan, Andrea N. and Vermeij, Mark J. A. and Page, Christopher and Marhaver, Kristen L. and Baums, Iliana B. (2022) Inheritance of somatic mutations by animal offspring. Science Advances, 8 (35). Art. No. abn0707. ISSN 2375-2548. PMCID PMC9432832. doi:10.1126/sciadv.abn0707.

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Since 1892, it has been widely assumed that somatic mutations are evolutionarily irrelevant in animals because they cannot be inherited by offspring. However, some nonbilaterians segregate the soma and germline late in development or never, leaving the evolutionary fate of their somatic mutations unknown. By investigating uni- and biparental reproduction in the coral Acropora palmata (Cnidaria, Anthozoa), we found that uniparental, meiotic offspring harbored 50% of the 268 somatic mutations present in their parent. Thus, somatic mutations accumulated in adult coral animals, entered the germline, and were passed on to swimming larvae that grew into healthy juvenile corals. In this way, somatic mutations can increase allelic diversity and facilitate adaptation across habitats and generations in animals.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription CentralArticle
Vasquez Kuntz, Kate L.0000-0001-6624-8947
Kitchen, Sheila A.0000-0003-4402-8139
Conn, Trinity L.0000-0001-8012-5265
Vohsen, Samuel A.0000-0003-1710-292X
Chan, Andrea N.0000-0001-9281-3188
Vermeij, Mark J. A.0000-0001-9612-9527
Page, Christopher0000-0003-0887-6309
Marhaver, Kristen L.0000-0002-8953-1902
Baums, Iliana B.0000-0001-6463-7308
Additional Information:We would like to thank K. Stankiewicz and A. Nekrutenko for their bioinformatics assistance and D. Williams and M. Miller for field support of the 2017 experiment. We also thank M. Devlin-Durante for assistance with the microsatellite analysis. M. Hagedorn helped secure funding, led the cryopreservation work in Curaçao during coral spawning, and helped enable the larval shipment to Mote Marine Laboratory, as well as provided the crosses containing a high percentage of spontaneously developing eggs. K. O’Neil helped secure funding, reared coral larvae, and propagated microfragments to preserve access to the unique crosses and genotypes used in this study. We also thank A. Shantz, D. Flores, L. Tichy, C. Lager, K. Lohr, K. Latijnhouwers, and V. Chamberland for dive and laboratory support, as well as C. Osborne for manuscript edits. This work was supported by NOAA Office for Coastal Management grant NA17NOS4820083 (to I.B.B. and S.A.K.), National Science Foundation grant OCE-1537959 (to I.B.B.), the Human Frontier Science Program grant RGP0042/2020 (to I.B.B.), National Science Foundation grant IOS-1848671 (to K.L.M.), and the Paul G. Allen Family Foundation (to K.L.M.).
Funding AgencyGrant Number
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)NA17NOS4820083
Human Frontier Science ProgramRGP0042/2020
Paul G. Allen Family FoundationUNSPECIFIED
Issue or Number:35
PubMed Central ID:PMC9432832
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20221114-805533100.18
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Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:117863
Deposited By: Research Services Depository
Deposited On:29 Nov 2022 17:15
Last Modified:29 Nov 2022 17:23

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