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Genetics. 2010 Oct;186(2):669-76. doi: 10.1534/genetics.110.119867. Epub 2010 Jul 20.

Introgression of Drosophila simulans nuclear pore protein 160 in Drosophila melanogaster alone does not cause inviability but does cause female sterility.

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  • 1Department of Biological Sciences, Graduate School of Science, University of Tokyo, Tokyo 113-0032, Japan.


We have been analyzing genes for reproductive isolation by replacing Drosophila melanogaster genes with homologs from Drosophila simulans by interspecific backcrossing. Among the introgressions established, we found that a segment of the left arm of chromosome 2, Int(2L)S, carried recessive genes for hybrid sterility and inviability. That nuclear pore protein 160 (Nup160) in the introgression region is involved in hybrid inviability, as suggested by others, was confirmed by the present analysis. Male hybrids carrying an X chromosome of D. melanogaster were not rescued by the Lethal hybrid rescue (Lhr) mutation when the D. simulans Nup160 allele was made homozygous or hemizygous. Furthermore, we uniquely found that Nup160 is also responsible for hybrid sterility. Females were sterile when D. simulans Nup160 was made homozygous or hemizygous in the D. melanogaster genetic background. Genetic analyses indicated that the D. simulans Nup160 introgression into D. melanogaster was sufficient to cause female sterility but that other autosomal genes of D. simulans were also necessary to cause lethality. The involvement of Nup160 in hybrid inviability and female sterility was confirmed by transgene experiment.

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