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Genetics. 1993 Feb;133(2):299-305.

Hybrid lethal systems in the Drosophila melanogaster species complex. I. The maternal hybrid rescue (mhr) gene of Drosophila simulans.

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  • 1Department of Genetics, Graduate University for Advanced Studies, National Institute of Genetics, Shizuoka, Japan.


Hybrid females from Drosophila simulans females x Drosophila melanogaster males die as embryos while hybrid males from the reciprocal cross die as late larvae. The other two classes are sterile adults. Letting C, X, and Y designate egg cytoplasm, X, and Y chromosomes, respectively, and subscripts m and s stand for melanogaster and simulans, CmXmYs males are lethal in the larval stage and are rescued by the previously reported genes, Lhr (Lethal hybrid rescue) in simulans or Hmr (Hybrid male rescue) in melanogaster. We report here another rescue gene located on the second chromosome of simulans, mhr (maternal hybrid rescue) that, when present in the mother, rescues CsXmXs females from embryonic lethality. It has been postulated that the hybrids not carrying the Xs like CmXmYs males are larval lethal and that the hybrids carrying both the Cs and the Xm like CsXmXs females are embryonic lethal. According to these postulates CsXmYs males (obtained by mating attached-X simulans females to melanogaster males) should be doubly lethal, at both embryo and larval stages. When both rescuing genes are present, Hmr in the father and mhr in the mother, males of this genotype are fully viable, as predicted.

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