Genetics of sexual isolation based on courtship song between two sympatric species: Drosophila ananassae and D. pallidosa

Genetica. 2002 Nov;116(2-3):225-37.


Sexual isolation has been considered one of the primary causes of speciation and its genetic study has the potential to reveal the genetics of speciation. In Drosophila, the importance of courtship songs in sexual isolation between closely related species has been well investigated, but studies analysing the genetic basis of the difference in the courtship songs associated with sexual isolation are less well documented. Drosophila ananassae and Drosophila pallidosa are useful for studies of sexual isolation, because of their sympatric distribution and absence of postmating isolation. Courtship songs are known to play a crucial role in sexual isolation between these two species, and the female discrimination behaviour against the courting male has been revealed to be controlled by a very narrow region on the second chromosome. In this study we investigated the genetic basis controlling the song differences associated with their sexual isolation, using intact and wingless males with chromosomes substituted between species. The results obtained from F1 hybrid males between these species indicate the dominance of the song characters favoured by D. pallidosa females. In addition, the results obtained from backcross F2 males indicate that chromosome 2 had a major effect on the control of the song characters associated with sexual isolation.

MeSH terms

  • Acoustic Stimulation*
  • Animals
  • Drosophila / genetics*
  • Drosophila / physiology
  • Hybridization, Genetic
  • Sexual Behavior, Animal*
  • Species Specificity*