Male sex-ratio trait in Drosophila pseudoobscura: Frequency of autosomal aneuploid sperm

Cobbs, GJ, L.; Gordon, L.,  Genetics,  127:381-390. 1991.

Males with the SR X chromosome show the “sex-ratio” (sr) phenotype in which they produce almost entirely daughters. The few sons (about 1%) are invariably sterile X/O males and result entirely from nullo-XY sperm. The “male-sex-ratio” (msr) phenotype is a modified form of sr in which SR/Y males produce a higher frequency of sterile X/O sons. The msr trait is due to the presence of the SR X-chromosome in males which are also homozygous for one or more autosomes from the L116 strain. Here the frequency of nullo-3 and diplo-3 sperm from msr males was measured by crossing to a compound-3 strain and found to be 13.8% and 3.2%, respectively, of the total viable sperm. The sr males produced very low levels of nullo-3 sperm at a frequency not different from control X/Y males and a slightly elevated frequency of diplo-3 sperm over X/Y males. The msr males were found to have only 12% the fecundity of sr males and in matings to cause a high frequency of brown inviable eggs. These results indicate that high rates of autosomal aneuploidy are not restricted to chromosome 3 but also occur for chromosomes 2, 4 and 5. The overall frequency of autosomal aneuploid sperm is estimated to be approximately 50%. Microscopic studies of meiosis in testes from msr males indicates meiotic nondisjunction and meiotic chromosome loss are responsible for the msr phenotype. Last, microscopic studies of sperm cysts from msr males reveal high levels of spermiogenic failure.