The vertex-nullity interlace polynomial of a graph, described by Arratia, Bollobás and Sorkin in  as evolving from questions of DNA sequencing, and extended to a two-variable interlace polynomial by the same authors in , evokes many open questions. These include relations between the interlace polynomial and the Tutte polynomial and the computational complexity of the vertex-nullity interlace polynomial. Here, using the medial graph of a planar graph, we relate the one-variable vertex-nullity interlace polynomial to the classical Tutte polynomial when x=y, and conclude that, like the Tutte polynomial, it is in general #P-hard to compute. We also show a relation between the two-variable interlace polynomial and the topological Tutte polynomial of Bollobás and Riordan in .
We define the γ invariant as the coefficient of x1 in the vertex-nullity interlace polynomial, analogously to the β invariant, which is the coefficientof x1 in the Tutte polynomial. We then turn to distance hereditary graphs, characterized by Bandelt and Mulder in  as being constructed by a sequence ofadding pendant and twin vertices, and show that graphs in this class have γ invariant of 2n+1 when n true twins are added intheir construction. We furthermore show that bipartite distance hereditary graphs are exactly the class of graphs with γ invariant 2, just as the series-parallel graphs are exactly the class of graphs with β invariant 1. In addition, we show that a bipartite distance hereditary graph arises precisely as the circle graph of an Euler circuitin the oriented medial graph of a series-parallel graph. From this we conclude that the vertex-nullity interlace polynomial is polynomial time to compute for bipartite distancehereditary graphs, just as the Tutte polynomial is polynomial time to compute for series-parallel graphs.