Project description:Coyne and Orr found that mating discrimination (premating isolation) evolves much faster between sympatric than allopatric Drosophila species pairs. Their meta-analyses established that this pattern, expected under reinforcement, is common and that Haldane's rule is ubiquitous in Drosophila species divergence. We examine three possible contributors to the reinforcement pattern: intrinsic postzygotic isolation, dichotomized as to whether hybrid males show complete inviability/sterility; host-plant divergence, as a surrogate for extrinsic postzygotic isolation; and X chromosome size, whether roughly 20% or 40% of the genome is X-linked. We focus on "young" species pairs with overlapping ranges, contrasted with allopatric pairs. Using alternative criteria for "sympatry" and tests that compare either level of prezygotic isolation in sympatry or frequency of sympatry, we find no statistically significant effects associated with X chromosome size or our coarse quantifications of intrinsic postzygotic isolation or ecological differentiation. Although sympatric speciation seems very rare in animals, the pervasiveness of the reinforcement pattern and the commonness of range overlap for close relatives indicate that speciation in Drosophila is often not purely allopatric. It remains to determine whether increased premating isolation with sympatry results from secondary contact versus parapatric speciation and what drives this pattern.
Project description:Interactions between species can alter selection on sexual displays used in mate choice within species. Here we study the epicuticular pheromones of two Drosophila species that overlap partially in geographic range and are incompletely reproductively isolated. Drosophila subquinaria shows a pattern of reproductive character displacement against Drosophila recens, and partial behavioral isolation between conspecific sympatric versus allopatric populations, whereas D. recens shows no such variation in mate choice. First, using manipulative perfuming experiments, we show that females use pheromones as signals for mate discrimination both between species and among populations of D. subquinaria. Second, we show that patterns of variation in epicuticular compounds, both across populations and between species, are consistent with those previously shown for mating probabilities: pheromone compositions differ between populations of D. subquinaria that are allopatric versus sympatric with D. recens, but are similar across populations of D. recens regardless of overlap with D. subquinaria. We also identify differences in pheromone composition among allopatric regions of D. subquinaria. In sum, our results suggest that epicuticular compounds are key signals used by females during mate recognition, and that these traits have diverged among D. subquinaria populations in response to reinforcing selection generated by the presence of D. recens.
Project description:Promiscuity can drive the evolution of sexual conflict before and after mating occurs. Post mating, the male ejaculate can selfishly manipulate female physiology, leading to a chemical arms race between the sexes. Theory suggests that drift and sexually antagonistic coevolution can cause allopatric populations to evolve different chemical interactions between the sexes, thereby leading to postmating reproductive barriers and speciation. There is, however, little empirical evidence supporting this form of speciation. We tested this theory by creating an experimental evolutionary model of Drosophila melanogaster populations undergoing different levels of interlocus sexual conflict. We found that allopatric populations under elevated sexual conflict show assortative mating, indicating premating reproductive isolation. Further, these allopatric populations also show reduced copulation duration and sperm defense ability when mating happens between individuals across populations compared to that within the same population, indicating postmating prezygotic isolation. Sexual conflict can cause reproductive isolation in allopatric populations through the coevolution of chemical (postmating prezygotic) as well as behavioural (premating) interactions between the sexes. Thus, to our knowledge, we provide the first comprehensive evidence of postmating (as well as premating) reproductive isolation due to sexual conflict.
Project description:The Hawaiian Drosophila are an iconic example of sequential colonization, adaptive radiation and speciation on islands. Genetic and phenotypic analysis of closely related species pairs that exhibit incomplete reproductive isolation can provide insights into the mechanisms of speciation. Drosophila silvestris from Hawai'i Island and Drosophila planitibia from Maui are two closely related allopatric Hawaiian picture-winged Drosophila that produce sterile F1 males but fertile F1 females, a pattern consistent with Haldane's rule. Backcrossing F1 hybrid females between these two species to parental species gives rise to recombinant males with three distinct sperm phenotypes despite a similar genomic background: motile sperm, no sperm (sterile), and immotile sperm. We found that these three reproductive morphologies of backcross hybrid males produce divergent gene expression profiles in testes, as measured with RNA sequencing. There were a total of 71 genes significantly differentially expressed between backcross males with no sperm compared with those backcross males with motile sperm and immotile sperm, but no significant differential gene expression between backcross males with motile sperm and backcross males with immotile sperm. All of these genes were underexpressed in males with no sperm, including a number of genes with previously known activities in adult testis. An allele-specific expression analysis showed overwhelmingly more cis-divergent than trans-divergent genes, with no significant difference in the ratio of cis- and trans-divergent genes among the sperm phenotypes. Overall, the results indicate that the regulation of gene expression involved in sperm production likely diverged relatively rapidly between these two closely related species.
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:BACKGROUND: The recent advance of high-throughput sequencing makes it feasible to study entire transcriptomes through the application of de novo sequence assembly algorithms. While a popular strategy is to first construct an intermediate de Bruijn graph structure to represent the transcriptome, an additional step is needed to construct predicted transcripts from the graph. RESULTS: Since the de Bruijn graph contains all branching possibilities, we develop a memory-efficient algorithm to recover alternative splicing information and library-specific expression information directly from the graph without prior genomic knowledge. We implement the algorithm as a postprocessing module of the Velvet assembler. We validate our algorithm by simulating the transcriptome assembly of Drosophila using its known genome, and by performing Drosophila transcriptome assembly using publicly available RNA-Seq libraries. Under a range of conditions, our algorithm recovers sequences and alternative splicing junctions with higher specificity than Oases or Trans-ABySS. CONCLUSIONS: Since our postprocessing algorithm does not consume as much memory as Velvet and is less memory-intensive than Oases, it allows biologists to assemble large libraries with limited computational resources. Our algorithm has been applied to perform transcriptome assembly of the non-model blow fly Lucilia sericata that was reported in a previous article, which shows that the assembly is of high quality and it facilitates comparison of the Lucilia sericata transcriptome to Drosophila and two mosquitoes, prediction and experimental validation of alternative splicing, investigation of differential expression among various developmental stages, and identification of transposable elements.
Project description:Drosophila melanogaster is one of the most well studied genetic model organisms; nonetheless, its genome still contains unannotated coding and non-coding genes, transcripts, exons and RNA editing sites. Full discovery and annotation are pre-requisites for understanding how the regulation of transcription, splicing and RNA editing directs the development of this complex organism. Here we used RNA-Seq, tiling microarrays and cDNA sequencing to explore the transcriptome in 30 distinct developmental stages. We identified 111,195 new elements, including thousands of genes, coding and non-coding transcripts, exons, splicing and editing events, and inferred protein isoforms that previously eluded discovery using established experimental, prediction and conservation-based approaches. These data substantially expand the number of known transcribed elements in the Drosophila genome and provide a high-resolution view of transcriptome dynamics throughout development.
Project description:Reinforcement occurs when hybridization between closely related lineages produces low-fitness offspring, prompting selection for elevated reproductive isolation specifically in areas of sympatry. Both premating and postmating prezygotic behaviors have been shown to be the target of reinforcing selection, but it remains unclear whether remating behaviors experience reinforcement, although they can also influence offspring identity and limit formation of hybrids. Here, we evaluated evidence for reinforcing selection on remating behaviors in Drosophila pseudoobscura, by comparing remating traits in females from populations historically allopatric and sympatric with Drosophila persimilis. We found that the propensity to remate was not higher in sympatric females, compared to allopatric females, regardless of whether the first mated male was heterospecific or conspecific. Moreover, remating behavior did not contribute to interspecific reproductive isolation among any population; that is, females showed no higher propensity to remate following a heterospecific first mating than following a conspecific first mating. Instead, we found that females are less likely to remate after initial matings with unfamiliar males, regardless of species identity. This is consistent with one scenario of postmating sexual conflict in which females are poorly defended against postcopulatory manipulation by males with whom they have not coevolved. Our results are generally inconsistent with reinforcement on remating traits and suggest that this behavior might be more strongly shaped by the consequences of local antagonistic male-female interactions than interactions with heterospecifics.
Project description:We performed RNAi knockdown experiments on 15 different signal transduction components in Drosophila S2 cells and prepared RNA libraries from the poly-adenylated fraction of the RNA. SOLiD sequencing of strand-specific, barcoded transcriptome libraries yielded expression profiles allowing us to extract common pathway signatures and indicated that Cka may function as novel regulator in Ras/MAPK signaling
Project description:We employ multi-step affinity purification followed by high-throughput sequencing to determine the location of EJC complexes assembled on a cellular transcriptome in Drosophila S2 cells, finding 6% of the intron-containing genes were not associated with EJCs, and within genes with multiple introns, only specific exon-exon junctions assembled an EJC. RIP-Seq, 3 samples