Gene expression disruptions of organism versus organ in Drosophila species hybrids.
Hybrid dysfunctions, such as sterility, may result in part from disruptions in the regulation of gene expression. Studies of hybrids within the Drosophila simulans clade have reported genes expressed above or below the expression observed in their parent species, and such misexpression is associated with male sterility in multigenerational backcross hybrids. However, these studies often examined whole bodies rather than testes or had limited replication using less-sensitive but global techniques. Here, we use a new RNA isolation technique to re-examine hybrid gene expression disruptions in both testes and whole bodies from single Drosophila males by real-time quantitative RT-PCR. We find two early-spermatogenesis transcripts are underexpressed in hybrid whole-bodies but not in assays of testes alone, while two late-spermatogenesis transcripts seem to be underexpressed in both whole-bodies and testes alone. Although the number of transcripts surveyed is limited, these results provide some support for a previous hypothesis that the spermatogenesis pathway in these sterile hybrids may be disrupted sometime after the expression of the early meiotic arrest genes.
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