Divergent nucleic acid allocation in juvenile insects of different metamorphosis modes
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Villar-Argaiz, M., López-Rodríguez, M.J. & Tierno de Figueroa , J.M. Divergent nucleic acid allocation in juvenile insects of different metamorphosis modes. Sci Rep 11, 10313 (2021). [https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-021-89736-w]
PatrocinadorRegional Government of Andalusia (Excelencia P12-RNM327 Project to MVA)
Nucleic acids help clarify variation in species richness of insects having different metamorphosis modes, a biological conundrum. Here we analyse nucleic acid contents of 639 specimens of aquatic insects collected from four high mountain streams of Sierra Nevada in southern Spain to test whether the allocation to RNA or DNA content differs during ontogeny between juvenile insects undergoing direct (hemimetabolous) or indirect (holometabolous) metamorphosis. The results show that RNA content as a function of body mass was negatively correlated to insect body length in four out of six and three out of six of the holometabolan and hemimetabolan taxa, respectively. Although no significant differences in RNA content were found between holometabolans and hemimetabolans, the significant interaction between body length and metamorphosis mode for RNA and RNA:DNA indicates a strong ontogenetic component to RNA allocation. In addition, our finding of lower DNA content in holometabolans relative to hemimetabolans agree with the analysis of empirical genome data in aquatic and terrestrial insects, and extend to this class of arthropods the “growth rate-genome size-nutrient limitation” hypothesis that differences in allocation between RNA and DNA may reflect fundamental evolutionary trade-off of life-history strategies associated with high growth rates (and RNA content) in holometabolans at the expense of diminished genome sizes.