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Genetics. 1999 Dec; 153(4): 1731–1741.
PMCID: PMC1460847

Mapping of hybrid incompatibility loci in Nasonia.


According to theory, F(2) hybrid breakdown (lethality or sterility) is due to incompatibilities between interacting genes of the different species (i.e., the breaking up of coadapted gene complexes). Detection of such incompatibilities is particularly straightforward in haplodiploid species, because virgin F(1) hybrid females will produce haploid recombinant F(2) males. This feature allows for screening of the complete genome for recessive genetic incompatibilities. Crosses were performed between Nasonia vitripennis (v) and its sibling species N. giraulti (g). First, a linkage map was produced using RAPD markers. RAPD markers showed an overall bias toward vitripennis alleles, a pattern not predicted by the basic two-interactor Dobzhansky-Muller model. Recovery patterns of visible markers were consistent with those of linked RAPD markers. If particular genetic interactions between two loci are causing hybrid lethality, then those genotypes should be underrepresented or absent among adult F(2) males. Four sets of significant incompatibilities were detected by performing pairwise comparisons of markers on different chromosomes. Likely explanations for the observed patterns are maternal effect-zygotic gene incompatibilities or clustering of incompatibility loci. Due to the short generation time, advantages of haplodiploidy, and availability of markers, Nasonia promises to be a productive system for investigating the genetics of hybrid inviability.

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Selected References

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