Reduced Mitochondrial Respiration in Hybrid Asexual Lizards
The scarcity of asexual reproduction in vertebrates alludes to an inherent cost. Several groups of asexual vertebrates exhibit lower endurance capacity (a trait predominantly sourced by mitochondrial respiration) compared with congeneric sexual species. Here we measure endurance capacity in five species of Aspidoscelis lizards and examine mitochondrial respiration between sexual and asexual species using mitochondrial respirometry. Our results show reduced endurance capacity, reduced mitochondrial respiration, and reduced phenotypic variability in asexual species compared with parental sexual species, along with a positive relationship between endurance capacity and mitochondrial respiration. Results of lower endurance capacity and lower mitochondrial respiration in asexual Aspidoscelis are consistent with hypotheses involving mitonuclear incompatibility.