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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2000 Mar 14;97(6):2652-5.

Genetic analysis of speciation by means of introgression into Drosophila melanogaster.

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  • 1Department of Ecology and Evolution, University of Chicago, 1101 East 57th Street, Chicago, IL 60637, USA.


In the last decade, the genetic basis of reproductive isolation has been shown to be surprisingly polygenic, and yet even the most efficient system currently in use could lend itself to molecular analysis only in highly selected cases. By extending the recent discovery of fertility rescue between Drosophila melanogaster and Drosophila simulans, we show that this hybridization can permit systematic and precise delineation of the genetic and molecular basis of speciation. In a region of 5% of the D. simulans genome introgressed into D. melanogaster, we discover at least six genes of hybrid male sterility and none for female sterility by deficiency mapping. A single case of hybrid inviability has been tracked down to a 3-Kb element that was inserted into the Cyclin E locus during species hybridization. The extent of interspecific genetic divergence underlying hybrid male sterility, especially in contrast with the low degree of inviability and female sterility, is far greater than expected from previous studies.

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