Hybrid incompatibilities in the parasitic wasp genus Nasonia: negative effects of hemizygosity and the identification of transmission ratio distortion loci

Heredity (Edinb). 2012 Mar;108(3):302-11. doi: 10.1038/hdy.2011.75. Epub 2011 Aug 31.


The occurrence of hybrid incompatibilities forms an important stage during the evolution of reproductive isolation. In early stages of speciation, males and females often respond differently to hybridization. Haldane's rule states that the heterogametic sex suffers more from hybridization than the homogametic sex. Although haplodiploid reproduction (haploid males, diploid females) does not involve sex chromosomes, sex-specific incompatibilities are predicted to be prevalent in haplodiploid species. Here, we evaluate the effect of sex/ploidy level on hybrid incompatibilities and locate genomic regions that cause increased mortality rates in hybrid males of the haplodiploid wasps Nasonia vitripennis and Nasonia longicornis. Our data show that diploid F(1) hybrid females suffer less from hybridization than haploid F(2) hybrid males. The latter not only suffer from an increased mortality rate, but also from behavioural and spermatogenic sterility. Genetic mapping in recombinant F(2) male hybrids revealed that the observed hybrid mortality is most likely due to a disruption of cytonuclear interactions. As these sex-specific hybrid incompatibilities follow predictions based on Haldane's rule, our data accentuate the need to broaden the view of Haldane's rule to include species with haplodiploid sex determination, consistent with Haldane's original definition.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Chimera / genetics*
  • Chromosome Mapping
  • Chromosomes, Insect
  • Crosses, Genetic
  • Female
  • Gene Order
  • Genetic Linkage
  • Hemizygote*
  • Hybridization, Genetic*
  • Infertility / genetics
  • Male
  • Quantitative Trait Loci*
  • Wasps / genetics*