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Mol Biol Evol. 2007 Jan;24(1):137-45. Epub 2006 Oct 10.

Genome-wide patterns of expression in Drosophila pure species and hybrid males. II. Examination of multiple-species hybridizations, platforms, and life cycle stages.

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DCMB Group/Biology, Duke University, USA.


Species often produce sterile hybrids early in their evolutionary divergence, and some evidence suggests that hybrid sterility may be associated with deviations or disruptions in gene expression. In support of this idea, many studies have shown that a high proportion of male-biased genes are underexpressed, compared with non-sex-biased genes, in sterile F1 male hybrids of Drosophila species. In this study, we examined and compared patterns of misexpression in sterile F1 male hybrids of Drosophila simulans and 2 of its sibling species, Drosophila mauritiana and Drosophila sechellia, at both the larval and adult life stages. We analyzed hybrids using both commercial Drosophila melanogaster microarrays and arrays we developed from reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reactions of spermatogenesis and reproduction-related transcripts from these species (sperm array). Although the majority of misexpressed transcripts were underexpressed, a disproportionate number of the overexpressed transcripts were located on the X chromosome. We detected a high overlap in the genes misexpressed between the 2 species pairs, and our sperm array was better at detecting such misexpression than the D. melanogaster array, suggesting possible weaknesses in the use of an array designed from another species. We found only minimal misexpression in the larval samples with the sperm array, suggesting that disruptions in spermatogenesis occur after this life stage. Further study of these misexpressed loci may allow us to identify precisely where disruptions in the spermatogenesis pathway occur.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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