In cytoplasmic inheritance, structural states of a parent cell could be transmitted to offspring cells via two mechanisms. The first is referred to as the hangover of parent structure, where the structure itself remains and faithfully transmits within offspring cells; the second is structural inheritance, wherein the parent structure functions as a template for development of new offspring structure. We estimated to what extent the parent structure affects the development of offspring structure by structural inheritance, using a clone of the diatom Cyclotella meneghiniana. The cell has two siliceous valves (a cell wall part at both cell poles): one is inherited from the parent and the other is newly formed. We estimated cytoplasmic heritability by comparing valve traits (central fultoportulae (CTFP), striae, central area, and cell diameter) of parent and new offspring valves, using single-cell isolation and valve labelling. Parent–offspring valve trait regressions showed that all traits, except CTFP, were significantly correlated. We formulated a quantitative genetic model considering the diatom inheritance system and revealed short-term rapid evolution compared with other inheritance systems. Diatom structural inheritance will have evolved to enable clonal populations to rapidly acquire and maintain suitable structures for temporal changes in environments and life-cycle stages.
Electronic supplementary material is available online at https://dx.doi.org/10.6084/m9.figshare.c.3552210.
- Received July 21, 2016.
- Accepted October 12, 2016.
- © 2016 The Author(s)
Published by the Royal Society. All rights reserved.