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Genetic incompatibility dampens hybrid fertility more than hybrid viability: yeast as a case study.

ABSTRACT: Genetic incompatibility is believed to be the major cause of postzygotic reproductive isolation. Despite huge efforts seeking for speciation-related incompatibilities in the past several decades, a general understanding of how genetic incompatibility evolves in affecting hybrid fitness is not available, primarily due to the fact that the number of known incompatibilities is small. Instead of further mapping specific incompatible genes, in this paper we aimed to know the overall effects of incompatibility on fertility and viability, the two aspects of fitness, by examining 89 gametes produced by yeast S. cerevisiae-S. paradoxus F1 hybrids. Homozygous F2 hybrids formed by autodiploidization of F1 gametes were subject to tests for growth rate and sporulation efficiency. We observed much stronger defects in sporulation than in clonal growth for every single F2 hybrid strain, indicating that genetic incompatibility affects hybrid fertility more than hybrid viability in yeast. We related this finding in part to the fast-evolving nature of meiosis-related genes, and proposed that the generally low expression levels of these genes might be a cause of the observation.


PROVIDER: S-EPMC3071822 | BioStudies | 2011-01-01

REPOSITORIES: biostudies

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