• Sex chromosome translocation and speciation : a Drosophila genetic model

      Espinet, Susan Andrea.; Department of Biological Sciences (Brock University, 1979-07-09)
      Although exceptions may be readily identified, two generalizations concerning genetic differences among species may be drawn from the available allozyme and chromosome data. First, structural gene differences among species vary widely. In many cases, species pairs do not differ more than intraspecific populations. This suggests that either very few or no gene substitutions are required to produce barriers to reproduction (Avise 1976). Second, chromosome form and/or number differs among even closely related species (White 1963; 1978; Fredga 1977; Wright 1970). Many of the observed chromosomal differences involve translocational rearrangements; these produce severe fitness depression in heterozygotes and were, thus, long considered unlikely candidates for the fixation required of genetic changes leading to speciation (Wright 1977). Nonetheless, the fact that species differences are frequently translocational argues convincingly for their fixation despite prejudices to the contrary. Haldane's rule states that in the F of interspecific crosses, the heterogametic sex is absent or sterile in the preponderance of cases (Haldane 1932). This rule definitely applies in the genus Dr°sophila (Ehrman 1962). Sex chromosome translocations do not impose a fitness depression as severe as that imposed by autosomal translocations, and X-Y translocations may account for Haldane's rule (Haldane 1932). Consequently a study of the fit ness parameters of an X·yL and a yS chromosome in Drosophila melanogaster populations was initiated by Tracey (1972). Preliminary results suggested that x.yL//YSmales enjoyed a mating advantage with X·yL//X·yL females, that this advantage was frequency dependent, that the translocation produced sexual isolation and that interactions between the yL, yS and a yellow marker contributed to the observed isolation (Tracey and Espinet 1976; Espinet and Tracey 1976). Encouraged by the results of these prelimimary studies, further experiments were performed to clarify the genetic nature of the observed sexual isolation, S the reality of the y frequency dependent fitness .and the behavioural changes, if any, produced by the translocation. The results of this work are reported herein. Although the marker genes used in earlier studies, sparkling poliert an d yellow have both been found to affect activity,but only yellow effects asymmetric sexual isolation. In addition yellow effects isolation through an interaction with the T(X-y) chromosomes, yS also effects isolation, and translocational strains are isolated from those of normal karyotype in the absence of marker gene differences. When yS chromosomes are in competition with y chromosomes on an X.yL background, yS males are at a distinct advantage only when their frequency is less than 97%. The sex chromosome translocation alters the normal courtship pattern by the incorporation of circling between vibration and licking in the male repertoire. Finally a model of speciation base on the fixation of this sex chromosome translocation in a geographically isolated gene pool is proposed.