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Nature. 2009 Oct 22;461(7267):1079-83. doi: 10.1038/nature08441. Epub 2009 Sep 27.

A role for a neo-sex chromosome in stickleback speciation.

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  • 1Division of Human Biology, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, 1100 Fairview Avenue North, Seattle, Washington 98109, USA.

Abstract

Sexual antagonism, or conflict between the sexes, has been proposed as a driving force in both sex-chromosome turnover and speciation. Although closely related species often have different sex-chromosome systems, it is unknown whether sex-chromosome turnover contributes to the evolution of reproductive isolation between species. Here we show that a newly evolved sex chromosome contains genes that contribute to speciation in threespine stickleback fish (Gasterosteus aculeatus). We first identified a neo-sex chromosome system found only in one member of a sympatric species pair in Japan. We then performed genetic linkage mapping of male-specific traits important for reproductive isolation between the Japanese species pair. The neo-X chromosome contains loci for male courtship display traits that contribute to behavioural isolation, whereas the ancestral X chromosome contains loci for both behavioural isolation and hybrid male sterility. Our work not only provides strong evidence for a large X-effect on reproductive isolation in a vertebrate system, but also provides direct evidence that a young neo-X chromosome contributes to reproductive isolation between closely related species. Our data indicate that sex-chromosome turnover might have a greater role in speciation than was previously appreciated.

PMID:
19783981
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC2776091
Free PMC Article
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