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Genetic Architecture of Hybrid Male Sterility in Drosophila: Analysis of Intraspecies Variation for Interspecies Isolation

Authors
Journal
PLoS ONE
1932-6203
Publisher
Public Library of Science
Publication Date
Volume
3
Issue
8
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0003076
Keywords
  • Research Article
  • Evolutionary Biology/Evolutionary Ecology
  • Evolutionary Biology/Evolutionary And Comparative Genetics
  • Evolutionary Biology/Genomics
Disciplines
  • Biology
  • Design

Abstract

Background The genetic basis of postzygotic isolation is a central puzzle in evolutionary biology. Evolutionary forces causing hybrid sterility or inviability act on the responsible genes while they still are polymorphic, thus we have to study these traits as they arise, before isolation is complete. Methodology/Principal Findings Isofemale strains of D. mojavensis vary significantly in their production of sterile F1 sons when females are crossed to D. arizonae males. We took advantage of the intraspecific polymorphism, in a novel design, to perform quantitative trait locus (QTL) mapping analyses directly on F1 hybrid male sterility itself. We found that the genetic architecture of the polymorphism for hybrid male sterility (HMS) in the F1 is complex, involving multiple QTL, epistasis, and cytoplasmic effects. Conclusions/Significance The role of extensive intraspecific polymorphism, multiple QTL, and epistatic interactions in HMS in this young species pair shows that HMS is arising as a complex trait in this system. Directional selection alone would be unlikely to maintain polymorphism at multiple loci, thus we hypothesize that directional selection is unlikely to be the only evolutionary force influencing postzygotic isolation.

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