Diversity and abundance of the abnormal chromosome 10 meiotic drive complex in Zea mays

Kanizay, LBP, T.; Lowry, E. G.; Hufford, M. B.; Peterson, D. G.; Ross-Ibarra, J.; Dawe, R. K.,  Heredity,  110:570-577. 2013.

Maize Abnormal chromosome 10 (Ab10) contains a classic meiotic drive system that exploits the asymmetry of meiosis to preferentially transmit itself and other chromosomes containing specialized heterochromatic regions called knobs. The structure and diversity of the Ab10 meiotic drive haplotype is poorly understood. We developed a bacterial artificial chromosome (BAC) library from an Ab10 line and used the data to develop sequence-based markers, focusing on the proximal portion of the haplotype that shows partial homology to normal chromosome 10. These molecular and additional cytological data demonstrate that two previously identified Ab10 variants (Ab10-I and Ab10-II) share a common origin. Dominant PCR markers were used with fluorescence in situ hybridization to assay 160 diverse teosinte and maize landrace populations from across the Americas, resulting in the identification of a previously unknown but prevalent form of Ab10 (Ab10-III). We find that Ab10 occurs in at least 75% of teosinte populations at a mean frequency of 15%. Ab10 was also found in 13% of the maize landraces, but does not appear to be fixed in any wild or cultivated population. Quantitative analyses suggest that the abundance and distribution of Ab10 is governed by a complex combination of intrinsic fitness effects as well as extrinsic environmental variability.