The role of meiotic drive in hybrid male sterility

McDermott, SRN, M. A. F.,  Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B-Biological Sciences,  365:1265-1272. 2010.

Meiotic drive causes the distortion of allelic segregation away from Mendelian expected ratios, often also reducing fecundity and favouring the evolution of drive suppressors. If different species evolve distinct drive-suppressor systems, then hybrid progeny may be sterile as a result of negative interactions of these systems’ components. Although the hypothesis that meiotic drive may contribute to hybrid sterility, and thus species formation, fell out of favour early in the 1990s, recent results showing an association between drive and sterility have resurrected this previously controversial idea. Here, we review the different forms of meiotic drive and their possible roles in speciation. We discuss the recent empirical evidence for a link between drive and hybrid male sterility, also suggesting a possible mechanistic explanation for this link in the context of chromatin remodelling. Finally, we revisit the population genetics of drive that allow it to contribute to speciation.