Doubly Uniparental Inheritance (DUI) is one of the most striking exceptions to the common rule of standard maternal inheritance of metazoan mitochondria. In DUI, two mitochondrial genomes are present, showing different transmission routes, one through eggs (F-type) and the other through sperm (M-type). In this paper, we report results from a multiplex real-time quantitative polymerase chain reaction analysis on the Manila clam Venerupis philippinarum (formerly Tapes philippinarum). We quantified M- and F-types in somatic tissues, gonads, and gametes. Nuclear and external reference sequences were used, and the whole experimental process was designed to avoid any possible cross-contamination. In most male somatic tissues, the M-type is largely predominant: This suggests that the processes separating sex-linked mitochondrial DNAs (mtDNAs) in somatic tissues are less precise than in other DUI species. In the germ line, we evidenced a strict sex-specific mtDNA segregation because both sperm and eggs do carry exclusively M- and F-types, respectively, an observation that is in contrast with a previous analysis on Mytilus galloprovincialis. More precisely, whereas two mtDNAs are present in the whole gonad, only the sex-specific one is detected in gametes. Because of this, we propose that the mtDNA transmission is achieved through a three-checkpoint process in V. philippinarum. The cytological mechanisms of male mitochondria segregation in males and degradation in females during the embryo development (here named Checkpoint #1 and Checkpoint #2) are already well known for DUI species; a Checkpoint #3 would act when primordial germ cells (PGCs) are first formed and would work in both males and females. We believe that Checkpoint #3 is a mere variation of the ‘‘mitochondrial bottleneck’’ in species with standard maternal inheritance, established when their PGCs separate during embryo cleavage.
File in questo prodotto:
Eventuali allegati, non sono esposti