1. Evolutionary Biology
  2. Genetics and Genomics
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Multi-Level Selection: The perils of cheating

  1. M Florencia Camus  Is a corresponding author
  1. Department of Genetics, Evolution and Environment, University College London, United Kingdom
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Cite this article as: eLife 2020;9:e62222 doi: 10.7554/eLife.62222
1 figure

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Multilevel selection of cheater mitochondria.

Cheater mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) have a selective advantage that allows it to replicate faster than wildtype mtDNA in individual worms (top left), but this reduces fitness at the population level in successive generations, so the frequency of cheaters decreases with time (bottom left). A lack of nutrients reduces the selective advantage of cheater mtDNA within individual worms (top right), but this has little impact at the population level (bottom right; red and orange lines). However, knocking out a gene called daf-16/foxo leads to a greater reduction in the frequency of cheaters over time (bottom left; blue line) under conditions of nutrient stress.

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