Organization of the sex-ratio meiotic drive region in Drosophila simulans

Montchamp-Moreau, CO, D.; Chaminade, N.; Colard, A.; Aulard, S.,  Genetics,  174:1365-1371. 2006.

Sex-ratio meiotic drive is the preferential transmission of the X chromosome by XY males, which occurs in several Drosophila species and results in female-biased progeny. Although the trait has long been known to exist, its molecular basis remains completely unknown. Here we report a fine-mapping experiment designed to characterize the major drive locus on a sex-ratio X chromosome of Drosophila simulans originating from the Seychelles (X-SRG). This primary locus was found to contain two interacting elements at least, both of which are required for drive expression. One of them was genetically tracked to a tandem duplication containing six annotated genes (Trf2, CG32712, CG12125, CG1440, CG12123, org-1), and the other to a candidate region located similar to 110 kb away and spanning seven annotated genes. RT-PCR showed that all but two of these genes were expressed in the testis of both sex-ratio and standard males. In situ hybridization to polytene chromosomes revealed a complete association of the duplication with the sex-ratio trait in random samples of X chromosomes from Madagascar and Reunion.