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Biol Open. 2016 Aug 15;5(8):1111-7. doi: 10.1242/bio.018127.

A locus in Pristionchus pacificus that is responsible for the ability to give rise to fertile offspring at higher temperatures.

Author information

1
Max Planck Institute for Cell Biology and Genetics, Pfotenhauerstrasse 108, Dresden 01307, Germany.
2
Max Planck Institute for Developmental Biology, Department of Evolutionary Biology, Spemannstraße 37, Tübingen 72076, Germany.
3
Max Planck Institute for Developmental Biology, Department of Evolutionary Biology, Spemannstraße 37, Tübingen 72076, Germany ralf.sommer@tuebingen.mpg.de hyman@mpi-cbg.de.
4
Max Planck Institute for Cell Biology and Genetics, Pfotenhauerstrasse 108, Dresden 01307, Germany ralf.sommer@tuebingen.mpg.de hyman@mpi-cbg.de.

Abstract

Temperature is a stress factor that varies temporally and spatially, and can affect the fitness of cold-blooded organisms, leading to a loss of reproductive output; however, little is understood about the genetics behind the long-term response of organisms to temperature. Here, we approach this problem in the model nematode Pristionchus pacificus by utilising a large collection of natural isolates with diverse phenotypes. From this collection we identify two strains, one from California that can give rise to fertile offspring up to 28°C and one from Japan that is fertile up to 30°C. We show that the optimum temperature and the upper temperature limit for fertility is shifted higher in the Japanese strain suggesting that there is a mechanism that controls the temperature response of fertility across a range of temperatures. By crossing the two strains, and using genetic mapping, we identify a region on chromosome V that is responsible for maintaining fertility at higher temperatures. Thus, we conclude that fitness of P. pacificus at high temperature is under genetic control, suggesting that it could be subject to natural selection.

KEYWORDS:

Fertility; Mapping; Natural isolates; Pristionchus pacificus; Temperature

Conflict of interest statement

The authors declare no competing or financial interests.

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