Non-Mendelian segregation of sex chromosomes in heterospecific Drosophila males

Dermitzakis, ETM, J. P.; Waldrip, H. M.; Clark, A. G.,  Genetics,  154:687-694. 2000.

Interspecific hybrids and backcrossed organisms generally suffer from reduced viability and/or fertility. To identify and genetically map these defects, we introgressed regions of the Drosophila sechellia genome into the D. simulans genome. A female-biased sex ratio was observed in 24 of the 221 recombinant inbred lines, and subsequent tests attributed the skew to failure of Y-bearing sperm to fertilize the eggs. Apparently these introgressed lines fail to suppl ess a normally silent meiotic drive system. Using molecular markers we mapped two regions of the Drosophila genome that appear to exhibit differences between D. simulans and D. sechellia in their regulation of sex chromosome segregation distortion. The data indicate that the sex ratio phenotype results from an epistatic interaction between at least two factors. We discuss whether this observation is relevant to the meiotic drive theory of hybrid male sterility.