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.
Project description:Diploid hybrids of Saccharomyces cerevisiae and its closest relative, Saccharomyces paradoxus, are viable, but the sexual gametes they produce are not. One of several possible causes of this gamete inviability is incompatibility between genes from different species--such incompatible genes are usually called "speciation genes." In diploid F1 hybrids, which contain a complete haploid genome from each species, the presence of compatible alleles can mask the effects of (recessive) incompatible speciation genes. But in the haploid gametes produced by F1 hybrids, recessive speciation genes may be exposed, killing the gametes and thus preventing F1 hybrids from reproducing sexually. Here I present the results of an experiment to detect incompatibilities that kill hybrid gametes. I transferred nine of the 16 S. paradoxus chromosomes individually into S. cerevisiae gametes and tested the ability of each to replace its S. cerevisiae homeolog. All nine chromosomes were compatible, producing nine viable haploid strains, each with 15 S. cerevisiae chromosomes and one S. paradoxus chromosome. Thus, none of these chromosomes contain speciation genes that were capable of killing the hybrid gametes that received them. This is a surprising result that suggests that such speciation genes do not play a major role in yeast speciation.
Project description:Studies from a wide diversity of taxa have shown a negative relationship between genetic compatibility and the divergence time of hybridizing genomes. Theory predicts the main breakdown of fitness to happen after the F1 hybrid generation, when heterosis subsides and recessive allelic (Dobzhansky-Muller) incompatibilities are increasingly unmasked. We measured the fitness of F2 hybrids of African haplochromine cichlid fish bred from species pairs spanning several thousand to several million years divergence time. F2 hybrids consistently showed the lowest viability compared to F1 hybrids and non-hybrid crosses (crosses within the grandparental species), in agreement with hybrid breakdown. Especially the short- and long-term survival (2 weeks to 6 months) of F2 hybrids was significantly reduced. Overall, F2 hybrids showed a fitness reduction of 21% compared to F1 hybrids, and a reduction of 43% compared to the grandparental, non-hybrid crosses. We further observed a decrease of F2 hybrid viability with the genetic distance between grandparental lineages, suggesting an important role for negative epistatic interactions in cichlid fish postzygotic isolation. The estimated time window for successful production of F2 hybrids resulting from our data is consistent with the estimated divergence time between the multiple ancestral lineages that presumably hybridized in three major adaptive radiations of African cichlids.
Project description:In mammals, intrinsic postzygotic isolation has been well studied in males but has been less studied in females, despite the fact that female gametogenesis and pregnancy provide arenas for hybrid sterility or inviability that are absent in males. Here, we asked whether inviability or sterility is observed in female hybrids of Mus musculus domesticus and M. m. musculus, taxa which hybridize in nature and for which male sterility has been well characterized. We looked for parent-of-origin growth phenotypes by measuring adult body weights in F1 hybrids. We evaluated hybrid female fertility by crossing F1 females to a tester male and comparing multiple reproductive parameters between intrasubspecific controls and intersubspecific hybrids. Hybrid females showed no evidence of parent-of-origin overgrowth or undergrowth, providing no evidence for reduced viability. However, hybrid females had smaller litter sizes, reduced embryo survival, fewer ovulations, and fewer small follicles relative to controls. Significant variation in reproductive parameters was seen among different hybrid genotypes, suggesting that hybrid incompatibilities are polymorphic within subspecies. Differences in reproductive phenotypes in reciprocal genotypes were observed and are consistent with cyto-nuclear incompatibilities or incompatibilities involving genomic imprinting. These findings highlight the potential importance of reduced hybrid female fertility in the early stages of speciation.
Project description:Eukaryotic species are reproductively isolated by sterility barriers that prevent interspecies fertilization (prezygotic sterility barrier) or the fertilization results in infertile offspring (postzygotic sterility barrier). The Saccharomyces species are isolated by postzygotic sterility barriers. Their allodiploid hybrids form no viable gametes (ascospores) and the viable ascospores of the allotetraploids cannot fertilize (conjugate). Our previous work revealed that this mechanism of reproductive isolation differs from those operating in plants and animals and we designated it double sterility barrier (the failure of homeologous chromosomes to pair and the repression of mating by mating-type heterozygosity). Other studies implicated nucleo-mitochondrial incompatibilities in the sterility of the Saccharomyces hybrids, a mechanism assumed to play a central role in the reproductive isolation of animal species. In this project the mitochondrial genomes of 50 cevarum (S. cerevisiae × S. uvarum) hybrids were analyzed. 62% had S. cerevisiae mitotypes, 4% had S. uvarum mitotypes, and 34% had recombinant mitotypes. All but one hybrid formed viable spores indicating that they had genomes larger than allodiploid. Most of these spores were sterile (no sporulation in the clone of vegetative descendants; a feature characteristic of allodiploids). But regardless of their mitotypes, most hybrids could also form fertile alloaneuploid spore clones at low frequencies upon the loss of the MAT-carrying chromosome of the S. uvarum subgenome during meiosis. Hence, the cevarum alloploid nuclear genome is compatible with both parental mitochondrial genomes as well as with their recombinants, and the sterility of the hybrids is maintained by the double sterility barrier (determined in the nuclear genome) rather than by nucleo-mitochondrial incompatibilities. During allotetraploid sporulation both the nuclear and the mitochondrial genomes of the hybrids could segregate but no correlation was observed between the sterility or the fertility of the spore clones and their mitotypes. Nucleo-mitochondrial incompatibility was manifested as respiration deficiency in certain meiotic segregants. As respiration is required for meiosis-sporulation but not for fertilization (conjugation), these segregants were deficient only in sporulation. Thus, the nucleo-mitochondrial incompatibility affects the sexual processes only indirectly through the inactivation of respiration and causes only partial sterility in certain segregant spore clones.
Project description:Hybrid incompatibilities play a critical role in the evolution and maintenance of species. We have discovered a simple genetic incompatibility that causes lethality in hybrids between two closely related species of yellow monkeyflower (Mimulus guttatus and M. nasutus). This hybrid incompatibility, which causes one sixteenth of F2 hybrid seedlings to lack chlorophyll and die shortly after germination, occurs between sympatric populations that are connected by ongoing interspecific gene flow. Using complimentary genetic mapping and gene expression analyses, we show that lethality occurs in hybrids that lack a functional copy of the critical photosynthetic gene pTAC14. In M. guttatus, this gene was duplicated, but the ancestral copy is no longer expressed. In M. nasutus, the duplication is missing altogether. As a result, hybrids die when they are homozygous for the nonfunctional M. guttatus copy and missing the duplicate from M. nasutus, apparently due to misregulated transcription of key photosynthetic genes. Our study indicates that neutral evolutionary processes may play an important role in the evolution of hybrid incompatibilities and opens the door to direct investigations of their contribution to reproductive isolation among naturally hybridizing species.
Project description:Adaptation to contrasting environments occurs when advantageous alleles accumulate in each population, but it remains largely unknown whether these same advantageous alleles create genetic incompatibilities that can cause intrinsic reproductive isolation leading to speciation. Identifying alleles that underlie both adaptation and reproductive isolation is further complicated by factors such as dominance and genetic interactions among loci, which can affect both processes differently and obscure potential links between adaptation and speciation. Here, we use a combination of field and glasshouse experiments to explore the connection between adaptation and speciation while accounting for dominance and genetic interactions. We created a hybrid population with equal contributions from four contrasting ecotypes of Senecio lautus (Asteraceae), which produced hybrid genomes both before (F1 hybrid generation) and after (F4 hybrid generation) recombination among the parental ecotypes. In the glasshouse, plants in the second generation (F2 hybrid generation) showed reduced fitness as a loss of fertility. However, fertility was recovered in subsequent generations, suggesting that genetic variation underlying the fitness reduction was lost in subsequent generations. To quantify the effects of losing genetic variation at the F2 generation on the fitness of later generation hybrids, we used a reciprocal transplant to test for fitness differences between parental ecotypes, and F1 and F4 hybrids in all four parental habitats. Compared to the parental ecotypes and F1 hybrids, variance in F4 hybrid fitness was lower, and lowest in habitats that showed stronger native-ecotype advantage, suggesting that stronger natural selection for the native ecotype reduced fitness variation in the F4 hybrids. Fitness trade-offs that were present in the parental ecotypes and F1 hybrids were absent in the F4 hybrid. Together, these results suggest that the genetic variation lost after the F2 generation was likely associated with both adaptation and intrinsic reproductive isolation among ecotypes from contrasting habitats.
Project description:In crosses between evolutionarily diverged populations, genomic incompatibilities may result in sterile hybrids, indicating evolution of reproductive isolation. In several plant families, crosses within a population can also lead to male sterile progeny because of conflict between the maternally and biparentally inherited genomes. We examined hybrid fertility between subspecies of the perennial outcrossing self-incompatible Lyrate rockcress (Arabidopsis lyrata) in large reciprocal F2 progenies and three generations of backcrosses. In one of the reciprocal F2 progenies, almost one-fourth of the plants were male-sterile. Correspondingly, almost one-half of the plants in one of the four reciprocal backcross progenies expressed male sterility. In an additional four independent F2 and backcross families, three segregated male sterility. The observed asymmetrical hybrid incompatibility is attributable to male sterility factors in one cytoplasm, for which the other population lacks effective fertility restorers. Genotyping of 96 molecular markers and quantitative trait locus mapping revealed that only 60% of the plants having the male sterile cytoplasm and lacking the corresponding restorers were phenotypically male-sterile. Genotyping data showed that there is only one restorer locus, which mapped to a 600-kb interval at the top of chromosome 2 in a region containing a cluster of pentatricopeptide repeat genes. Male fertility showed no trade-off with seed production. We discuss the role of cytoplasm and genomic conflict in incipient speciation and conclude that cytoplasmic male sterility-lowering hybrid fitness is a transient effect with limited potential to form permanent reproductive barriers between diverged populations of hermaphrodite self-incompatible species.
Project description:Studies of hybridizing species can reveal much about the genetic basis and maintenance of species divergence in the face of gene flow. Here we report a genetic segregation and linkage analysis conducted on F2 progeny of a reciprocal cross between Senecio aethnensis and S. chrysanthemifolius that form a hybrid zone on Mount Etna, Sicily, aimed at determining the genetic basis of intrinsic hybrid barriers between them. Significant transmission ratio distortion (TRD) was detected at 34 (?27%) of 127 marker loci located in nine distinct clusters across seven of the ten linkage groups detected, indicating genomic incompatibility between the species. TRD at these loci could not be attributed entirely to post-zygotic selective loss of F2 individuals that failed to germinate or flower (16.7%). At four loci tests indicated that pre-zygotic events, such as meiotic drive in F1 parents or gametophytic selection, contributed to TRD. Additional tests revealed that cytonuclear incompatibility contributed to TRD at five loci, Bateson-Dobzhansky-Muller (BDM) incompatibilities involving epistatic interactions between loci contributed to TRD at four loci, and underdominance (heterozygote disadvantage) was a possible cause of TRD at one locus. Major chromosomal rearrangements were probably not a cause of interspecific incompatibility at the scale that could be examined with current map marker density. Intrinsic genomic incompatibility between S. aethnensis and S. chrysanthemifolius revealed by TRD across multiple genomic regions in early-generation hybrids is likely to impact the genetic structure of the natural hybrid zone on Mount Etna by limiting introgression and promoting divergence across the genome.
Project description:The Dobzhansky-Muller model of incompatibilities explains reproductive isolation between species by incorrect epistatic interactions. Although the mechanisms of speciation are of great interest, no incompatibility has been characterized at the gene level in mammals. The Hybrid sterility 1 gene (Hst1) participates in the arrest of meiosis in F(1) males of certain strains from two Mus musculus subspecies, e.g., PWD from M. m. musculus and C57BL/6J (henceforth B6) from M. m. domesticus. Hst1 has been identified as a meiotic PR-domain gene (Prdm9) encoding histone 3 methyltransferase in the male offspring of PWD females and B6 males, (PWD×B6)F(1). To characterize the incompatibilities underlying hybrid sterility, we phenotyped reproductive and meiotic markers in males with altered copy numbers of Prdm9. A partial rescue of fertility was observed upon removal of the B6 allele of Prdm9 from the azoospermic (PWD×B6)F(1) hybrids, whereas removing one of the two Prdm9 copies in PWD or B6 background had no effect on male reproduction. Incompatibility(ies) not involving Prdm9(B6) also acts in the (PWD×B6)F(1) hybrids, since the correction of hybrid sterility by Prdm9(B6) deletion was not complete. Additions and subtractions of Prdm9 copies, as well as allelic replacements, improved meiotic progression and fecundity also in the progeny-producing reciprocal (B6×PWD)F(1) males. Moreover, an increased dosage of Prdm9 and reciprocal cross enhanced fertility of other sperm-carrying male hybrids, (PWD×B6-C3H.Prdm9)F(1), harboring another Prdm9 allele of M. m. domesticus origin. The levels of Prdm9 mRNA isoforms were similar in the prepubertal testes of all types of F(1) hybrids of PWD with B6 and B6-C3H.Prdm9 despite their different prospective fertility, but decreased to 53% after removal of Prdm9(B6). Therefore, the Prdm9(B6) allele probably takes part in posttranscriptional dominant-negative hybrid interaction(s) absent in the parental strains.
Project description:PR-domain 9 (Prdm9) is the first hybrid sterility gene identified in mammals. The incompatibility between Prdm9 from Mus musculus domesticus (Mmd; the B6 strain) and the Hstx2 region of chromosome (Chr) X from M. m. musculus (Mmm; the PWD strain) participates in the complete meiotic arrest of mouse intersubspecific (PWD×B6)F1 hybrid males. Other studies suggest that also semisterile intersubspecific hybrids are relevant for mouse speciation, but the genes responsible remain unknown. To investigate the causes of this semisterility, we analyzed the role of Prdm9 and Chr X in hybrids resulting from the crosses of PWK, another Mmm-derived inbred strain. We demonstrate that Prdm9 and Chr X control the partial meiotic arrest and reduced sperm count in (PWK×B6)F1 males. Asynapsis of heterosubspecific chromosomes and semisterility were partially suppressed by removal of the B6 allele of Prdm9. Polymorphisms between PWK and PWD on Chr X but not in the Prdm9 region were responsible for the modification of the outcome of Prdm9-Chr X F1 hybrid incompatibility. Furthermore, (PWK×B6)F1 hybrid males displayed delayed fertility dependent on the Prdm9 incompatibility. While the Drosophila hybrid sterility gene Overdrive causes both delayed fertility and increased transmission of its own chromosome to the offspring, the segregation of Chr X and the Prdm9 region from the mouse (PWK×B6)F1 males was normal. Our results indicate extended functional consequences of Prdm9-Chr X intersubspecific incompatibility on the fertility of hybrids and should influence the design of fertility analyses in hybrid zones and of laboratory crosses between Mmm and Mmd strains.