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Genetics of Male and Female Sterility in Hybrids of Drosophila pseudoobscura and D. persimilis

The Genetics Society of America
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  • Investigations


The genetic basis of male and female sterility in hybrids of Drosophila pseudoobscura-Drosophila persimilis was studied using backcross analysis. Previous studies indirectly assessed male fertility by measuring testis size; these studies concluded that male sterility results from an X chromosome-autosome imbalance. By directly scoring for the production of motile sperm, male sterility is shown to be largely due to an incompatibility between genes on the X and Y chromosomes of these two species. These species have diverged at a minimum of nine loci affecting hybrid male fertility. Semisterility of hybrid females appears to result from an X chromosome-cytoplasm interaction; the X chromosome thus has the largest effect on sterility in both male and female hybrids. This is apparently the first analysis of the genetic basis of female sterility, or of sterility/inviability affecting both sexes, in an animal hybridization.

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