Vertex and Edge Orbits in Nut Graphs

  • Nino Bašić
  • Patrick W. Fowler
  • Tomaž Pisanski


A nut graph is a simple graph for which the adjacency matrix has a single zero eigenvalue such that all non-zero kernel eigenvectors have no zero entry. If the isolated vertex is excluded as trivial, nut graphs have seven or more vertices; they are connected, non-bipartite, and have no leaves. It is shown that a nut graph $G$ always has at least one more edge orbit than it has vertex orbits: $o_e(G) \geq o_v(G) + 1$, with the obvious corollary that edge-transitive nut graphs do not exist. We give infinite familes of vertex-transitive nut graphs with two orbits of edges, and infinite families of nut graphs with two orbits of vertices and three of edges. Several constructions for nut graphs from smaller starting graphs are known: double subdivision of a bridge, four-fold subdivision of an edge, a construction for extrusion of a vertex with preservation of the degree sequence. To these we add multiplier constructions that yield nut graphs from regular (not necessarily nut graph) parents. In general, constructions can have different effects on automorphism group and counts of vertex and edge orbits, but in the case where the automorphism group is ‘preserved’, they can be used in a predictable way to control vertex and edge orbit numbers.

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