1. Evolutionary Biology
  2. Genetics and Genomics
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Bedrock radioactivity influences the rate and spectrum of mutation

  1. Nathanaëlle Saclier  Is a corresponding author
  2. Patrick Chardon
  3. Florian Malard
  4. Lara Konecny-Dupré
  5. David Eme
  6. Arnaud Bellec
  7. Vincent Breton
  8. Laurent Duret
  9. Tristan Lefebure  Is a corresponding author
  10. Christophe J Douady
  1. Université Claude Bernard Lyon 1, France
  2. Université Clermont-Auvergne, France
  3. Institut Français de Recherche pour l'Exploitation de la Mer (IFREMER), France
  4. Université de Lyon, Université Claude Bernard, CNRS UMR 5558, France
Research Article
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Cite this article as: eLife 2020;9:e56830 doi: 10.7554/eLife.56830

Abstract

All organisms on Earth are exposed to low doses of natural radioactivity but some habitats are more radioactive than others. Yet, documenting the influence of natural radioactivity on the evolution of biodiversity is challenging. Here, we addressed whether organisms living in naturally more radioactive habitats accumulate more mutations across generations using 14 species of waterlice living in subterranean habitats with contrasted levels of radioactivity. We found that the mitochondrial and nuclear mutation rates across a waterlouse species' genome increased on average by 60 and 30%, respectively, when radioactivity increased by a factor of three. We also found a positive correlation between the level of radioactivity and the probability of G to T (and complementary C to A) mutations, a hallmark of oxidative stress. We conclude that even low doses of natural bedrock radioactivity influence the mutation rate possibly through the accumulation of oxidative damage, in particular in the mitochondrial genome.

Article and author information

Author details

  1. Nathanaëlle Saclier

    Laboratoire d'écologie des hydrosystèmes naturels et anthropisés, Université Claude Bernard Lyon 1, Villeurbanne, France
    For correspondence
    nathanaelle.saclier@gmail.com
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
    ORCID icon "This ORCID iD identifies the author of this article:" 0000-0003-1522-9644
  2. Patrick Chardon

    Laboratoire de Physique de Clermont, Université Clermont-Auvergne, Clermont-Ferrand, France
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
  3. Florian Malard

    Laboratoire d'écologie des hydrosystèmes naturels et anthropisés, Université Claude Bernard Lyon 1, Villeurbanne, France
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
  4. Lara Konecny-Dupré

    Laboratoire d'écologie des hydrosystèmes naturels et anthropisés, Université Claude Bernard Lyon 1, Villeurbanne, France
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
  5. David Eme

    Ecologie et Modèles pour l'Halieutique (EMH), Institut Français de Recherche pour l'Exploitation de la Mer (IFREMER), Nantes, France
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
    ORCID icon "This ORCID iD identifies the author of this article:" 0000-0001-8790-0412
  6. Arnaud Bellec

    Laboratoire d'écologie des hydrosystèmes naturels et anthropisés, Université Claude Bernard Lyon 1, Villeurbanne, France
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
  7. Vincent Breton

    Laboratoire de Physique de Clermont, Université Clermont-Auvergne, Clemront-Ferrand, France
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
  8. Laurent Duret

    Laboratoire de Biométrie et Biologie Evolutive, Université de Lyon, Université Claude Bernard, CNRS UMR 5558, Villeurbanne, France
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
    ORCID icon "This ORCID iD identifies the author of this article:" 0000-0003-2836-3463
  9. Tristan Lefebure

    LEHNA, Université Claude Bernard Lyon 1, Villeurbanne, France
    For correspondence
    tristan.lefebure@univ-lyon1.fr
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
    ORCID icon "This ORCID iD identifies the author of this article:" 0000-0003-3923-8166
  10. Christophe J Douady

    Laboratoire d'écologie des hydrosystèmes naturels et anthropisés, Université Claude Bernard Lyon 1, Villeurbanne, France
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
    ORCID icon "This ORCID iD identifies the author of this article:" 0000-0002-4503-8040

Funding

Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (STYGOMICS - Défi enviromix)

  • Patrick Chardon
  • Florian Malard
  • Lara Konecny-Dupré
  • Tristan Lefebure
  • Christophe J Douady

Agence Nationale de la Recherche (ANR- 15-CE32-0005 Convergenomix)

  • Lara Konecny-Dupré
  • Laurent Duret
  • Tristan Lefebure
  • Christophe J Douady

The funders had no role in study design, data collection and interpretation, or the decision to submit the work for publication.

Reviewing Editor

  1. Molly Przeworski, Columbia University, United States

Publication history

  1. Received: March 11, 2020
  2. Accepted: November 30, 2020
  3. Accepted Manuscript published: November 30, 2020 (version 1)
  4. Version of Record published: December 8, 2020 (version 2)

Copyright

© 2020, Saclier et al.

This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License permitting unrestricted use and redistribution provided that the original author and source are credited.

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