Wolbachia in the Drosophila yakuba Complex: Pervasive Frequency Variation and Weak Cytoplasmic Incompatibility, but No Apparent Effect on Reproductive Isolation.
ABSTRACT: Three hybridizing species-the clade [(Drosophila yakuba, D. santomea), D. teissieri]-comprise the yakuba complex in the D. melanogaster subgroup. Their ranges overlap on Bioko and São Tomé, islands off west Africa. All three species are infected with Wolbachia-maternally inherited, endosymbiotic bacteria, best known for manipulating host reproduction to favor infected females. Previous analyses reported no cytoplasmic incompatibility (CI) in these species. However, we discovered that Wolbachia from each species cause intraspecific and interspecific CI. In D teissieri, analyses of F1 and backcross genotypes show that both host genotype and Wolbachia variation modulate CI intensity. Wolbachia-infected females seem largely protected from intraspecific and interspecific CI, irrespective of Wolbachia and host genotypes. Wolbachia do not affect host mating behavior or female fecundity, within or between species. The latter suggests little apparent effect of Wolbachia on premating or gametic reproductive isolation (RI) between host species. In nature, Wolbachia frequencies varied spatially for D. yakuba in 2009, with 76% (N = 155) infected on São Tomé, and only 3% (N = 36) infected on Bioko; frequencies also varied temporally in D. yakuba and D. santomea on São Tomé between 2009 and 2015. These temporal frequency fluctuations could generate asymmetries in interspecific mating success, and contribute to postzygotic RI. However, the fluctuations in Wolbachia frequencies that we observe also suggest that asymmetries are unlikely to persist. Finally, we address theoretical questions that our empirical findings raise about Wolbachia persistence when conditions fluctuate, and about the stable coexistence of Wolbachia and host variants that modulate Wolbachia effects.
Project description:Maternally transmitted Wolbachia infect about half of insect species, yet the predominant mode(s) of Wolbachia acquisition remains uncertain. Species-specific associations could be old, with Wolbachia and hosts codiversifying (i.e., cladogenic acquisition), or relatively young and acquired by horizontal transfer or introgression. The three Drosophila yakuba-clade hosts [(D. santomea, D. yakuba) D. teissieri] diverged ?3 MYA and currently hybridize on the West African islands Bioko and São Tomé. Each species is polymorphic for nearly identical Wolbachia that cause weak cytoplasmic incompatibility (CI)-reduced egg hatch when uninfected females mate with infected males. D. yakuba-clade Wolbachia are closely related to wMel, globally polymorphic in D. melanogaster We use draft Wolbachia and mitochondrial genomes to demonstrate that D. yakuba-clade phylogenies for Wolbachia and mitochondria tend to follow host nuclear phylogenies. However, roughly half of D. santomea individuals, sampled both inside and outside of the São Tomé hybrid zone, have introgressed D. yakuba mitochondria. Both mitochondria and Wolbachia possess far more recent common ancestors than the bulk of the host nuclear genomes, precluding cladogenic Wolbachia acquisition. General concordance of Wolbachia and mitochondrial phylogenies suggests that horizontal transmission is rare, but varying relative rates of molecular divergence complicate chronogram-based statistical tests. Loci that cause CI in wMel are disrupted in D. yakuba-clade Wolbachia; but a second set of loci predicted to cause CI are located in the same WO prophage region. These alternative CI loci seem to have been acquired horizontally from distantly related Wolbachia, with transfer mediated by flanking Wolbachia-specific ISWpi1 transposons.
Project description:The process of speciation involves populations diverging over time until they are genetically and reproductively isolated. Hybridization between nascent species was long thought to directly oppose speciation. However, the amount of interspecific genetic exchange (introgression) mediated by hybridization remains largely unknown, although recent progress in genome sequencing has made measuring introgression more tractable. A natural place to look for individuals with admixed ancestry (indicative of introgression) is in regions where species co-occur. In west Africa, D. santomea and D. yakuba hybridize on the island of São Tomé, while D. yakuba and D. teissieri hybridize on the nearby island of Bioko. In this report, we quantify the genomic extent of introgression between the three species of the Drosophila yakuba clade (D. yakuba, D. santomea), D. teissieri). We sequenced the genomes of 86 individuals from all three species. We also developed and applied a new statistical framework, using a hidden Markov approach, to identify introgression. We found that introgression has occurred between both species pairs but most introgressed segments are small (on the order of a few kilobases). After ruling out the retention of ancestral polymorphism as an explanation for these similar regions, we find that the sizes of introgressed haplotypes indicate that genetic exchange is not recent (>1,000 generations ago). We additionally show that in both cases, introgression was rarer on X chromosomes than on autosomes which is consistent with sex chromosomes playing a large role in reproductive isolation. Even though the two species pairs have stable contemporary hybrid zones, providing the opportunity for ongoing gene flow, our results indicate that genetic exchange between these species is currently rare.
Project description:The finding of new melanogaster sister species may help us in understanding more about how the emergence of genetic novelties, particularly in insular habitats, can result in speciation. Here we report on the discovery of Drosophila santomea, which is the first melanogaster sibling found off West-equatorial Africa, on São Tomé, one of the Gulf of Guinea islands. Although the eight other melanogaster sister species are remarkably conservative in their morphology except for their terminalia, the new find has a morphological trait distinguishing it from all of these: a pure yellow body coloration of both sexes without the normal black abdominal banding. Evidence from the terminalia, polytene and mitotic chromosomes, period gene and allozymes are provided indicating that it is nonetheless the nearest relative of Drosophila yakuba with which it coexists on the island. The new find is a clear-cut taxon as shown by the production of sterile male hybrids, eventually with developmental defects, in both directions of cross with yakuba and by the existence of an altitudinal divide accompanied by a hybrid zone at mid-elevation on the island. Molecular and karyotypic data further support this conclusion. In contrast to the significant divergence of their nuclear DNAs, an intriguing similarity in their cytochrome b sequences was observed indicating a recent coalescence common to santomea, yakuba and also teissieri cytoplasms. These were shown to harbour the same Wolbachia endosymbiotic bacteria which could possibly be responsible for mitochondrial DNA hitchhiking across the species barrier.
Project description:In this study, we report data about the presence of Wolbachia in Drosophila yakuba, D. teissieri, and D. santomea. Wolbachia strains were characterized using their wsp gene sequence and cytoplasmic incompatibility assays. All three species were found infected with Wolbachia bacteria closely related to the wAu strain, found so far in D. simulans natural populations, and were unable to induce cytoplasmic incompatibility. We injected wRi, a CI-inducing strain naturally infecting D. simulans, into the three species and the established transinfected lines exhibited high levels of CI, suggesting that absence of CI expression is a property of the Wolbachia strain naturally present or that CI is specifically repressed by the host. We also tested the relationship between the natural infection and wRi and found that it fully rescues the wRi modification. This result was unexpected, considering the significant evolutionary divergence between the two Wolbachia strains.
Project description:Drosophila yakuba is widely distributed in sub-Saharan Africa, while D. santomea is endemic to the volcanic island of São Tomé in the Atlantic Ocean, 280 km west of Gabon. On São Tomé, D. yakuba is found mainly in open lowland forests, and D. santomea is restricted to the wet misty forests at higher elevations. At intermediate elevations, the species form a hybrid zone where hybrids occur at a frequency of approximately 1%. To determine the extent of gene flow between these species we studied polymorphism and divergence patterns in 29 regions distributed throughout the genome, including mtDNA and three genes on the Y chromosome. This multilocus approach, together with the comparison to the two allopatric species D. mauritiana and D. sechellia, allowed us to distinguish between forces that should affect all genes and forces that should act on some genes (e.g., introgression). Our results show that D. yakuba mtDNA has replaced that of D. santomea and that there is also significant introgression for two nuclear genes, yellow and salr. The majority of genes, however, has remained distinct. These two species therefore do not form a "hybrid swarm" in which much of the genome shows substantial introgression while disruptive selection maintains distinctness for only a few traits (e.g., pigmentation and male genitalia).
Project description:Using quantitative trait locus (QTL) mapping, we studied the genetic basis of the difference in pigmentation between two sister species of Drosophila: Drosophila yakuba, which, like other members of the D. melanogaster subgroup, shows heavy black pigmentation on the abdomen of males and females, and D. santomea, an endemic to the African island of São Tomé, which has virtually no pigmentation. Here we mapped four QTL with large effects on this interspecific difference in pigmentation: two on the X chromosome and one each on the second and third chromosomes. The same four QTL were detected in male hybrids in the backcrosses to both D. santomea and D. yakuba and in the female D. yakuba backcross hybrids. All four QTL exhibited strong epistatic interactions in male backcross hybrids, but only one pair of QTL interacted in females from the backcross to D. yabuka. All QTL from each species affected pigmentation in the same direction, consistent with adaptive evolution driven by directional natural selection. The regions delimited by the QTL included many positional candidate loci in the pigmentation pathway, including genes affecting catecholamine biosynthesis, melanization of the cuticle, and many additional pleiotropic effects.
Project description:Reinforcement, a process by which natural selection increases reproductive isolation between populations, has been suggested to be an important force in the formation of new species. However, all existing cases of reinforcement involve an increase in mate discrimination between species. Here, I report the first case of reinforcement of postmating prezygotic isolation (i.e., barriers that act after mating but before fertilization) in animals. On the slopes of the African island of São Tomé, Drosophila yakuba and its endemic sister species D. santomea hybridize within a well-demarcated hybrid zone. I find that D. yakuba females from within this zone, but not from outside it, show an increase in gametic isolation from males of D. santomea, an apparent result of natural selection acting to reduce maladaptive hybridization between species. To determine whether such a barrier could evolve under laboratory conditions, I exposed D. yakuba lines derived from allopatric populations to experimental sympatry with D. santomea, and found that both behavioral and gametic isolation become stronger after only four generations. Reinforcement thus appears to be the best explanation for the heightened gametic isolation seen in sympatry. This appears to be the first example in animals in which natural selection has promoted the evolution of stronger interspecific genetic barriers that act after mating but before fertilization. This suggests that many other genetic barriers between species have been increased by natural selection but have been overlooked because they are difficult to study.
Project description:Drosophila teissieri and D. yakuba diverged approximately 3 mya and are thought to share a large, ancestral, African range [1-3]. These species now co-occur in parts of continental Africa and in west Africa on the island of Bioko [1, 4]. While D. yakuba is a human commensal, D. teissieri seems to be associated with Parinari fruits, restricting its range to forests [4-6]. Genome data indicate introgression, despite no evidence of contemporary hybridization. Here we report the discovery of D. yakuba-D. teissieri hybrids at the interface of secondary forests and disturbed, open habitats on Bioko. We demonstrate that hybrids are the F1 progeny of D. yakuba females and D. teissieri males. At high temperatures like those found on Bioko, D. teissieri females are generally less receptive to mating, and in combination with temperature effects on egg lay and egg-to-adult viability, this decreases the potential for gene flow between female D. teissieri and male D. yakuba relative to the reciprocal cross. Field and laboratory experiments demonstrate that F1 hybrids have a maladaptive combination of D. yakuba behavior and D. teissieri physiology, generating additional barriers to gene flow. Nevertheless, analysis of introgressed and non-introgressed regions of the genome indicate that, while rare, gene flow is relatively recent. Our observations identify precise intrinsic and extrinsic factors that, along with hybrid male sterility, limit gene flow and maintain these species. These data contribute to a growing body of literature that suggests the Gulf of Guinea may be a hotspot for hybridization.
Project description:Selection against maladaptive hybridization can drive the evolution of reproductive isolation in a process called reinforcement. While the importance of reinforcement in evolution has been historically debated, many examples now exist. Despite these examples, we typically lack a detailed understanding of the mechanisms limiting the spread of reinforced phenotypes throughout a species' range. Here we address this issue in the fruit fly Drosophila yakuba, a species that hybridizes with its sister species D. santomea and is undergoing reinforcement in a well-defined hybrid zone on the island of São Tomé. Within this region, female D. yakuba show increased postmating-prezygotic (gametic) isolation towards D. santomea when compared with females from allopatric populations. We use a combination of natural collections, fertility assays, and experimental evolution to understand why reinforced gametic isolation in D. yakuba is confined to this hybrid zone. We show that, among other traits, D. yakuba males from sympatric populations sire fewer progeny than allopatric males when mated to allopatric D. yakuba females. Our results provide a novel example of reinforcement acting on a postmating-prezygotic trait in males, resulting in a cascade of reproductive isolation among conspecific populations.
Project description:Interspecific hybridization provides the unique opportunity for species to tap into genetic variation present in a closely related species and potentially take advantage of beneficial alleles. It has become increasingly clear that when hybridization occurs, mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) often crosses species boundaries, raising the possibility that it could serve as a recurrent target of natural selection and source of species' adaptations. Here we report the sequences of 46 complete mitochondrial genomes of Drosophila yakuba and Drosophila santomea, two sister species known to produce hybrids in nature (~3%). At least two independent events of mtDNA introgression are uncovered in this study, including an early invasion of the D. yakuba mitochondrial genome that fully replaced the D. santomea mtDNA native haplotypes and a more recent, ongoing event centred in the hybrid zone. Interestingly, this recent introgression event bears the signature of Darwinian natural selection, and the selective haplotype can be found at low frequency in Africa mainland populations of D. yakuba. We put forward the possibility that, because the effective population size of D. santomea is smaller than that of D. yakuba, the faster accumulation of mildly deleterious mutations associated with Muller's ratchet in the former species may have facilitated the replacement of the mutationally loaded mitochondrial genome of D. santomea by that of D. yakuba.