Epistasis among Drosophila persimilis factors conferring hybrid male sterility with D. pseudoobscura bogotana.
The Bateson-Dobzhansky-Muller model posits that hybrid incompatibilities result from genetic changes that accumulate during population divergence. Indeed, much effort in recent years has been devoted to identifying genes associated with hybrid incompatibilities, often with limited success, suggesting that hybrid sterility and inviability are frequently caused by complex interactions between multiple loci and not by single or a small number of gene pairs. Our previous study showed that the nature of epistasis between sterility-conferring QTL in the Drosophila persimilis-D. pseudoobscura bogotana species pair is highly specific. Here, we further dissect one of the three QTL underlying hybrid male sterility between these species and provide evidence for multiple factors within this QTL. This result indicates that the number of loci thought to contribute to hybrid dysfunction may have been underestimated, and we discuss how linkage and complex epistasis may be characteristic of the genetics of hybrid incompatibilities. We further pinpoint the location of one locus that confers hybrid male sterility when homozygous, dubbed "mule-like", to roughly 250 kilobases.
Chang, AS; Bennett, SM; Noor, MAF
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