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Heredity (Edinb). 2009 Jan;102(1):16-23. doi: 10.1038/hdy.2008.44. Epub 2008 Jun 4.

Genetics of postzygotic isolation and Haldane's rule in haplodiploids.

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  • 1Evolutionary Genetics, Centre for Ecological and Evolutionary Studies, University of Groningen, Haren, The Netherlands.


The process of speciation has puzzled scientists for decades, but only recently they have they been able to reveal the genetic basis of reproductive isolation. Much emphasis has been on Haldane's rule, the observation that the heterogametic sex often suffers more from hybridization than the homogametic sex. Most research on Haldane's rule has focused on diploid organisms with chromosomal sex determination. We argue that species lacking chromosomal sex determination, such as haplodiploids, also follow Haldane's rule and thus should be included in the definition of this rule. We provide evidence for Haldane's rule in Nasonia wasps and describe how haplodiploids can be used to test the different theories that have been proposed to explain Haldane's rule. We discuss how the faster-male and faster-X theories can shape speciation differently in haplodiploids compared to diploids.

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