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PLoS Biol. 2006 Oct;4(10):e325.

Asymmetrical reinforcement and Wolbachia infection in Drosophila.

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  • 1Department of Biology, University of Rochester, Rochester, New York, USA. joja@mail.rochester.edu <joja@mail.rochester.edu>

Erratum in

  • PLoS Biol. 2007 Jan;5(1):e3.

Abstract

Reinforcement refers to the evolution of increased mating discrimination against heterospecific individuals in zones of geographic overlap and can be considered a final stage in the speciation process. One the factors that may affect reinforcement is the degree to which hybrid matings result in the permanent loss of genes from a species' gene pool. Matings between females of Drosophila subquinaria and males of D. recens result in high levels of offspring mortality, due to interspecific cytoplasmic incompatibility caused by Wolbachia infection of D. recens. Such hybrid inviability is not manifested in matings between D. recens females and D. subquinaria males. Here we ask whether the asymmetrical hybrid inviability is associated with a corresponding asymmetry in the level of reinforcement. The geographic ranges of D. recens and D. subquinaria were found to overlap across a broad belt of boreal forest in central Canada. Females of D. subquinaria from the zone of sympatry exhibit much stronger levels of discrimination against males of D. recens than do females from allopatric populations. In contrast, such reproductive character displacement is not evident in D. recens, consistent with the expected effects of unidirectional cytoplasmic incompatibility. Furthermore, there is substantial behavioral isolation within D. subquinaria, because females from populations sympatric with D. recens discriminate against allopatric conspecific males, whereas females from populations allopatric with D. recens show no discrimination against any conspecific males. Patterns of general genetic differentiation among populations are not consistent with patterns of behavioral discrimination, which suggests that the behavioral isolation within D. subquinaria results from selection against mating with Wolbachia-infected D. recens. Interspecific cytoplasmic incompatibility may contribute not only to post-mating isolation, an effect already widely recognized, but also to reinforcement, particularly in the uninfected species. The resulting reproductive character displacement not only increases behavioral isolation from the Wolbachia-infected species, but may also lead to behavioral isolation between populations of the uninfected species. Given the widespread occurrence of Wolbachia among insects, it thus appears that there are multiple ways by which these endosymbionts may directly and indirectly contribute to reproductive isolation and speciation.

Comment in

PMID:
17032063
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC1592313
Free PMC Article

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