Genetic dissection of hybrid incompatibilities between Drosophila simulans and D-mauritiana. III. Heterogeneous accumulation of hybrid incompatibilities, degree of dominance, and implications for Haldane’s rule

Tao, YH, D. L.,  Evolution,  57:2580-2598. 2003.

The genetic basis of Haldane’s rule was investigated through estimating the accumulation of hybrid incompatibilities between Drosophila simulans and D. mauritiana by means of introgression. The accumulation of hybrid male sterility (HMS) is at least 10 times greater than that of hybrid female sterility (HFS) or hybrid lethality (HL). The degree of dominance for HMS and HL in a pure D. simulans background is estimated as 0.23-0.29 and 0.33-0.39, respectively; that for HL in an F-1 background is unlikely to be very small. Evidence obtained here was used to test the Turelli-Orr model of Haldane’s rule. Composite causes, especially, faster-male evolution and recessive hybrid incompatibilities, underlie Haldane’s rule in heterogametic male taxa such as Drosophila (XY male and XX female). However, if faster-male evolution is driven by sexual selection, it contradicts Haldane’s rule for sterility in heterogametic-female taxa such as Lepidoptera (ZW female and ZZ male). The hypothesis of a faster-heterogametic-sex evolution seems to fit the current data best. This hypothesis states that gametogenesis in the heterogametic sex, instead of in males per se, evolves much faster than in the homogametic sex, in part because of sex-ratio selection. This hypothesis not only explains Haldane’s rule in a simple way, but also suggests that genomic conflicts play a major role in evolution and speciation.