Genome-wide patterns of expression in Drosophila pure species and hybrid males.
One of the most fundamental questions for understanding the origin of species is why genes that function to cause fertility in a pure-species genetic background fail to produce fertility in a hybrid genetic background. A related question is why the sex that is most often sterile or inviable in hybrids is the heterogametic (usually male) sex. In this survey, we have examined the extent and nature of differences in gene expression between fertile adult males of two Drosophila species and sterile hybrid males produced from crosses between these species. Using oligonucleotide microarrays and real-time quantitative polymerase chain reaction, we have identified and confirmed that differences in gene expression exist between pure species and hybrid males, and many of these differences are quantitative rather than qualitative. Furthermore, genes that are expressed primarily or exclusively in males, including several involved in spermatogenesis, are disproportionately misexpressed in hybrids, suggesting a possible genetic cause for their sterility.
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