Thermal energy and the rate of genetic evolution in marine fishes
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Slower genetic evolution in microbial thermophiles has been attributed to internal mutation control mechanisms in very high temperatures, whereas the tempo of plant microevolution has been positively correlated to ambient thermal conditions. Here, using a global dataset of 136 teleost fish species, contrasting warm and cool water species, and controlling for any differences between species in mutation control mechanisms, we found mitochondrial genetic evolution was 1.61 times faster in warm water species. These results suggest that temperature-mediated reduction in mutation rate is only important in extreme thermal regimes.
KeywordsDepth Latitude Microevolution Substitution rate
The study was funded by Nga Pae O Te Maramatanga, Maori Centre of Research Excellence, under the direction of Michael Walker and Linda Smith. S. W. holds the Michael Horton Lectureship in Biogeography at the University of Auckland.
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