In fungi and some plants, mitochondrial DNAs are biparentally inherited and can recombine to create novel mtDNAs. When Saccharomyces yeast hybridize, either a parental or recombinant mtDNA is inherited but the fitness effects of this is not understood. The mtDNAs from S. paradoxus have two distinct gene orders, one similar to S. cerevisiae mtDNAs and one unique. Our hypothesis is that recombination between mtDNAs with different gene orders will be more likely to produce recombinant mtDNAs that lack important regions and therefore will have lower fitness. I will test this by performing controlled crosses and evaluating mtDNA inheritance and hybrid fitness. This work could reveal a novel type of postzygotic isolation.
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McMillan, Gabrielle, "Is Mitochondrial Recombination a Source of Reproductive Barriers?" (2021). Research Days Posters 2021. 41.