Absence of Relationship between Mitochondrial DNA Evolutionary Rate and Longevity in Mammals except for CYTB

  • Ping Feng
  • Qihai Zhou
Original Paper


On the relationship between mitochondrion and longevity in mammals, two viewpoints have been proposed: one found that the amino acid substitution rates of most of the mitochondrial DNA-coding peptides were positively correlated with longevity, while the other raised the opposite view. To resolve this dichotomy, and to explore the relationship between mtDNA evolution and longevity in mammals, we examined this relationship in 85 mammal species, at the nucleotide sequence level. Previous studies have demonstrated that phylogenetic inertia, substitution saturation, and body mass can affect the relationship between longevity and substitution rate. Therefore, analyses should take these factors into account. This study found that after controlling the aforementioned factors, no significant positive or negative relationship existed between mitochondrial DNA evolutionary rate and longevity except for CYTB, partly agreeing with a previous study. Variations of longevity can be explained partly by the evolutionary rate of CYTB, but other influencing factors still need to be studied in the future.


MtDNA evolutionary rate Longevity Mammals 



We thank two anonymous reviewers for their valuable and constructive comments. This research was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC) (grant no. 31500310 to P.F.); the Scientific Research Foundation of the Higher Education Institutions of Guangxi Province, China (grant no. KY2015ZD016 to P.F.); a Start-up Fund, and a Development Support Program for Young Scholar from Guangxi Normal University to P.F.

Supplementary material

10914_2017_9399_MOESM1_ESM.docx (44 kb)
ESM 1 (DOCX 44 kb)


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Guangxi Key Laboratory of Rare and Endangered Animal Ecology, Guangxi Normal UniversityGuilinChina
  2. 2.Key Laboratory of Ecology of Rare and Endangered Species and Environmental Protection (Guangxi Normal University), Ministry of EducationGuilinChina

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