High-resolution genome-wide dissection of the two rules of speciation in Drosophila

PLoS Biol. 2007 Sep;5(9):e243. doi: 10.1371/journal.pbio.0050243.

Abstract

Postzygotic reproductive isolation is characterized by two striking empirical patterns. The first is Haldane's rule--the preferential inviability or sterility of species hybrids of the heterogametic (XY) sex. The second is the so-called large X effect--substitution of one species's X chromosome for another's has a disproportionately large effect on hybrid fitness compared to similar substitution of an autosome. Although the first rule has been well-established, the second rule remains controversial. Here, we dissect the genetic causes of these two rules using a genome-wide introgression analysis of Drosophila mauritiana chromosome segments in an otherwise D. sechellia genetic background. We find that recessive hybrid incompatibilities outnumber dominant ones and that hybrid male steriles outnumber all other types of incompatibility, consistent with the dominance and faster-male theories of Haldane's rule, respectively. We also find that, although X-linked and autosomal introgressions are of similar size, most X-linked introgressions cause hybrid male sterility (60%) whereas few autosomal introgressions do (18%). Our results thus confirm the large X effect and identify its proximate cause: incompatibilities causing hybrid male sterility have a higher density on the X chromosome than on the autosomes. We evaluate several hypotheses for the evolutionary cause of this excess of X-linked hybrid male sterility.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Chromosomes
  • Drosophila / genetics*
  • Genetic Speciation*
  • Genome*
  • Male
  • X Chromosome