Mitogenome selection in the evolution of key ecological strategies in the ancient hexapod class Collembola

Daniela M. Monsanto, Devon C. Main, Charlene Janion-Scheepers, Arsalan Emami-Khoyi, Louis Deharveng, Anne Bedos, Mikhail Potapov, Shilpa P. Parbhu, Johannes J. Le Roux, Peter R. Teske, Bettine Jansen van Vuuren*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)
38 Downloads (Pure)


A longstanding question in evolutionary biology is how natural selection and environmental pressures shape the mitochondrial genomic architectures of organisms. Mitochondria play a pivotal role in cellular respiration and aerobic metabolism, making their genomes functionally highly constrained. Evaluating selective pressures on mitochondrial genes can provide functional and ecological insights into the evolution of organisms. Collembola (springtails) are an ancient hexapod group that includes the oldest terrestrial arthropods in the fossil record, and that are closely associated with soil environments. Of interest is the diversity of habitat stratification preferences (life forms) exhibited by different species within the group. To understand whether signals of positive selection are linked to the evolution of life forms, we analysed 32 published Collembola mitogenomes in a phylomitogenomic framework. We found no evidence that signatures of selection are correlated with the evolution of novel life forms, but rather that mutations have accumulated as a function of time. Our results highlight the importance of nuclear-mitochondrial interactions in the evolution of collembolan life forms and that mitochondrial genomic data should be interpreted with caution, as complex selection signals may complicate evolutionary inferences.

Original languageEnglish
Article number14810
Pages (from-to)1-11
Number of pages11
JournalScientific Reports
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 31 Aug 2022

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