De novo Mutations in Domestic Cat are Consistent with an Effect of Reproductive Longevity on Both the Rate and Spectrum of Mutations.

TitleDe novo Mutations in Domestic Cat are Consistent with an Effect of Reproductive Longevity on Both the Rate and Spectrum of Mutations.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2022
AuthorsWang, RJ, Raveendran, M, Harris, RA, Murphy, WJ, Lyons, LA, Rogers, J, Hahn, MW
JournalMol Biol Evol
Date Published2022 Jul 02
KeywordsAnimals, Cats, Child, Preschool, Humans, Longevity, Mammals, Mutation, Mutation Rate, Paternal Age, Reproduction

The mutation rate is a fundamental evolutionary parameter with direct and appreciable effects on the health and function of individuals. Here, we examine this important parameter in the domestic cat, a beloved companion animal as well as a valuable biomedical model. We estimate a mutation rate of 0.86 × 10-8 per bp per generation for the domestic cat (at an average parental age of 3.8 years). We find evidence for a significant paternal age effect, with more mutations transmitted by older sires. Our analyses suggest that the cat and the human have accrued similar numbers of mutations in the germline before reaching sexual maturity. The per-generation mutation rate in the cat is 28% lower than what has been observed in humans, but is consistent with the shorter generation time in the cat. Using a model of reproductive longevity, which takes into account differences in the reproductive age and time to sexual maturity, we are able to explain much of the difference in per-generation rates between species. We further apply our reproductive longevity model in a novel analysis of mutation spectra and find that the spectrum for the cat resembles the human mutation spectrum at a younger age of reproduction. Together, these results implicate changes in life-history as a driver of mutation rate evolution between species. As the first direct observation of the paternal age effect outside of rodents and primates, our results also suggest a phenomenon that may be universal among mammals.

Alternate JournalMol Biol Evol
PubMed ID35771663
PubMed Central IDPMC9290555

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