An introgression approach to mapping differences in mating success and sperm competitive ability in Drosophila simulans and D. sechellia

Genet Res. 2002 Feb;79(1):65-74. doi: 10.1017/s0016672301005419.


The progeny of Drosophila females doubly-mated to males from the same and a closely related species are mostly sired by conspecific males. We examined the genetic basis for conspecific mating preference and sperm precedence by using 186 Drosophila lines in which random chromosomal fragments of D. sechellia were introgressed into D. simulans. Sperm competition was measured for each of these lines by crossing ebony D. simulans female with ebony D. simulans males followed by wild-type males from the introgressed lines. Variation in sperm competition (proportion of progeny sired by the second male), mating discrimination (proportion of introgressed males that failed to remate), and male fecundity (proportion of progeny sired by introgressed males) were scored. The introgressed lines exhibited highly significant heterogeneity in the three phenotypes scored, motivating an analysis to locate quantitative trait loci (QTLs) responsible for the differences. Applying composite interval mapping, we found eight QTLs that explain a significant level of variation among introgressed lines in the phenotypes scored. Cytological position overlapped among some QTLs suggesting possible pleiotropic effects. Analysis of the joint effects of simulans/sechellia genetic composition at different QTLs and markers suggests that complex interactions among alleles are partially responsible for interspecific differences in sexual traits.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Chromosome Mapping
  • Drosophila / genetics
  • Drosophila / physiology*
  • Fertility / genetics
  • Fertility / physiology
  • Genetic Markers
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Quantitative Trait, Heritable
  • Spermatozoa / physiology*


  • Genetic Markers