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Genetics. 1996 Jul;143(3):1243-55.

The genetics of reproductive isolation in the Drosophila simulans clade: X vs. autosomal effects and male vs. female effects.

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Department of Ecology and Evolution, University of Chicago, Illinois 60637, USA.


A strong effect of homozygous autosomal regions on reproductive isolation was found for crosses between the species in the Drosophila simulans clade. Second chromosome regions were introgressed from D. mauritiana and D. sechellia into D. simulans and tested for their homozygous effects on hybrid male and hybrid female sterility and inviability. Most introgressions are fertile as heterozygotes, yet produce sterile male offspring when made homozygous. The density of homozygous autosomal factors contributing to hybrid male sterility is comparable to the density of X chromosome factors for this level of resolution. Female sterility was also revealed, yet the disparity between male and female levels of sterility was great, with male sterility being up to 23 times greater than female sterility. Complete hybrid inviability was also associated with some regions of the second chromosome, yet there were no strong sex differences. In conclusion, we find no evidence to support a strong X chromosome bias in the evolution of hybrid sterility or inviability but do find a very strong sex bias in the evolution of hybrid sterility. In light of these findings, we reevaluate the current models proposed to explain the genetic pattern of reproductive isolation.

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