Sexual antagonism and meiotic drive cause stable linkage disequilibrium and favour reduced recombination on the X chromosome

Rydzewski, WTC, S. A.; Lievano, G.; Lynch, V. D.; Patten, M. M.,  Journal of Evolutionary Biology,  29:1247-1256. 2016.

Sexual antagonism and meiotic drive are sex-specific evolutionary forces with the potential to shape genomic architecture. Previous theory has found that pairing two sexually antagonistic loci or combining sexual antagonism with meiotic drive at linked autosomal loci augments genetic variation, produces stable linkage disequilibrium (LD) and favours reduced recombination. However, the influence of these two forces has not been examined on the X chromosome, which is thought to be enriched for sexual antagonism and meiotic drive. We investigate the evolution of the X chromosome under both sexual antagonism and meiotic drive with two models: in one, both loci experience sexual antagonism; in the other, we pair a meiotic drive locus with a sexually antagonistic locus. We find that LD arises between the two loci in both models, even when the two loci freely recombine in females and that driving haplotypes will be enriched for male-beneficial alleles, further skewing sex ratios in these populations. We introduce a new measure of LD, D-z(‘), which accounts for population allele frequencies and is appropriate for instances where these are sex specific. Both models demonstrate that natural selection favours modifiers that reduce the recombination rate. These results inform observed patterns of congealment found on driving X chromosomes and have implications for patterns of natural variation and the evolution of recombination rates on the X chromosome.