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Genetics. May 2004; 167(1): 275–287.
PMCID: PMC1470845

The genetics of inviability and male sterility in hybrids between Anopheles gambiae and An. arabiensis.


Male hybrids between Anopheles gambiae and An. arabiensis suffer from hybrid sterility, and inviability effects are sometimes present as well. We examined the genetic basis of these reproductive barriers between the two species, using 21 microsatellite markers. Generally, recessive inviability effects were found on the X chromosome of gambiae that are incompatible with at least one factor on each arabiensis autosome. Inviability is complete when the gambiae and arabiensis inviability factors are hemi- or homozygous. Using a QTL mapping approach, regions that contribute to male hybrid sterility were also identified. The X chromosome has a disproportionately large effect on male hybrid sterility. Additionally, several moderate-to-large autosomal QTL were found in both species. The effect of these autosomal QTL is contingent upon the presence of an X chromosome from the other species. Substantial regions of the autosomes do not contribute markedly to male hybrid sterility. Finally, no evidence for epistatic interactions between conspecific sterility loci was found.

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Selected References

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