A comparative analysis of polychaete species, classified as motile and low-motile forms, highlighted that the former were characterized not only by a higher metabolic rate (MR), but also by a higher genomic GC content. The fluctuation of both variables was not affected by the phylogenetic relationship of the species. Thus, present results further support that a very active lifestyle affects at the same time MR and GC, showing an unexpected similarity between invertebrates and vertebrates. In teleost, indeed, a similar pattern has been also observed comparing migratory and non-migratory species. Till now a cause-effect link between MR and GC has not been proved yet, but the fact that the two variables are significantly linked in all the organisms so far analyzed is, most probably, of relevant biological and evolutionary meaning. Present results fit very well within the frame of the metabolic rate hypothesis proposed to explain the DNA base composition variability among organisms. On the contrary, the thermostability hypothesis was not supported. At present, no data about the recombination rate in polychaetes were available to test the biased gene conversion (BGC) hypothesis.
- GC %
- Metabolic Rate
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