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Data from: The mutational structure of metabolism in Caenorhabditis elegans


Davies, Sarah K. et al. (2016), Data from: The mutational structure of metabolism in Caenorhabditis elegans, Dryad, Dataset,


A properly functioning organism must maintain metabolic homeostasis. Deleterious mutations degrade organismal function, presumably at least in part via effects on metabolic function. Here we present an initial investigation into the mutational structure of the Caenorhabditis elegans metabolome by means of a mutation accumulation experiment. We find that pool sizes of 29 metabolites vary greatly in their vulnerability to mutation, both in terms of the rate of accumulation of genetic variance (the mutational variance, VM) and the rate of change of the trait mean (the mutational bias, ΔM). Strikingly, some metabolites are much more vulnerable to mutation than any other trait previously studied in the same way. Although we cannot statistically assess the strength of mutational correlations between individual metabolites, principal component analysis provides strong evidence that some metabolite pools are genetically correlated, but also that there is substantial scope for independent evolution of different groups of metabolites. Averaged over mutation accumulation lines, PC3 is positively correlated with relative fitness, but a model in which metabolites are uncorrelated with fitness is nearly as good by Akaike's Information Criterion.

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