Establishing interspecific mosaic genome lines between Drosophila ananassae and Drosophila pallidosa by means of parthenogenesis

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Strong sexual isolation exists between the closely related species Drosophila ananassae and D. pallidosa, but there is no obvious post-mating isolation; both sexes of the hybrids and their descendants appear to be completely viable and fertile. Strains exhibiting parthenogenesis have been derived from wild populations of both species. We intercrossed such strains and established iso-female lines after the second generation of parthenogenesis. These lines are clones, carrying homozygous chromosomes that are interspecific recombinants. We established 266 such isogenic lines and determined their genetic constitution by using chromosomal and molecular markers. Strong pseudo-linkage was seen between loci on the left arm of chromosome 2 and on the right arm of chromosome 3; the frequency of inheriting the two chromosome regions from the same species was significantly larger than expected. One possible cause of pseudo-linkage is female meiotic bias, so that chromosomes of the same species origin tend to be distributed to the same gamete. But this possibility is ruled out; backcross analysis indicated that the two chromosome regions segregated independently in female hybrids. The remaining possibility is elimination of low-fitness flies carrying the two chromosome regions from different species. Thus, genetic incompatibility was detected in the species pair for which no hybrid breakdown had previously been indicated. The ‘interspecific mosaic genome’ lines reported here will be useful for future research to identify genes involved in speciation and phenotypic evolution.

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