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Publication Detail
Inheritance through the cytoplasm
  • Publication Type:
    Journal article
  • Authors:
    Camus MF, Alexander-Lawrie B, Sharbrough J, Hurst GDD
  • Publisher:
    Springer Science and Business Media LLC
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  • Keywords:
    Evolutionary genetics Genetic variation
  • Notes:
    This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article’s Creative Commons license and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/.
Most heritable information in eukaryotic cells is encoded in the nuclear genome, with inheritance patterns following classic Mendelian segregation. Genomes residing in the cytoplasm, however, prove to be a peculiar exception to this rule. Cytoplasmic genetic elements are generally maternally inherited, although there are several exceptions where these are paternally, biparentally or doubly-uniparentally inherited. In this review, we examine the diversity and peculiarities of cytoplasmically inherited genomes, and the broad evolutionary consequences that non-Mendelian inheritance brings. We first explore the origins of vertical transmission and uniparental inheritance, before detailing the vast diversity of cytoplasmic inheritance systems across Eukaryota. We then describe the evolution of genomic organisation across lineages, how this process has been shaped by interactions with the nuclear genome and population genetics dynamics. Finally, we discuss how both nuclear and cytoplasmic genomes have evolved to co-inhabit the same host cell via one of the longest symbiotic processes, and all the opportunities for intergenomic conflict that arise due to divergence in inheritance patterns. In sum, we cannot understand the evolution of eukaryotes without understanding hereditary symbiosis.
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