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Genetics. 2008 Jul;179(3):1437-53. doi: 10.1534/genetics.107.083618. Epub 2008 Jun 18.

Comparative genetics of hybrid incompatibility: sterility in two Solanum species crosses.

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  • 1Department of Biology, Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana 47405, USA.


The genetic basis of hybrid sterility can provide insight into the genetic and evolutionary origins of species barriers. We examine the genetics of hybrid incompatibility between two diploid plant species in the plant clade Solanum sect. Lycopersicon. Using a set of near-isogenic lines (NILs) representing the wild species Solanum pennellii (formerly Lycopersicon pennellii) in the genetic background of the cultivated tomato S. lycopersicum (formerly L. esculentum), we found that hybrid pollen and seed infertility are each based on a modest number of loci, male (pollen) and other (seed) incompatibility factors are roughly comparable in number, and seed-infertility QTL act additively or recessively. These findings are remarkably consistent with our previous analysis in a different species pair, S. lycopersicum x S. habrochaites. Data from both studies contrast strongly with data from Drosophila. Finally, QTL for pollen and seed sterility from the two Solanum studies were chromosomally colocalized, indicating a shared evolutionary history for these QTL, a nonrandom genomic distribution of loci causing sterility, and/or a proclivity of certain genes to be involved in hybrid sterility. We show that comparative mapping data can delimit the probable timing of evolution of detected QTL and discern which sterility loci likely evolved earliest among species.

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