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Experimental Evidence for Mitochondrial DNA Introgression between Drosophila Species

Josiane Aubert and Michel Solignac
Evolution
Vol. 44, No. 5 (Aug., 1990), pp. 1272-1282
DOI: 10.2307/2409288
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2409288
Page Count: 11
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Experimental Evidence for Mitochondrial DNA Introgression between Drosophila Species
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Abstract

Differential introgression of mitochondrial genomes has been used to explain the occurrence in some species of individuals bearing mtDNA from a related species. This situation has been observed for Drosophila mauritiana (endemic to Mauritius) where a high proportion of individuals (88%) carries an mtDNA also found in D. simulans populations from Madagascar and Reunion. Using these two species, experiments were carried out to test for differential mtDNA introgression. A single virgin female from one species (initial frequency 0.03) was introduced into a population of the other. D. simulans mtDNA can, within three generations, almost entirely displace (frequency up to 0.80) D. mauritiana mtDNA. Hybrid male sterility probably curtails to a large degree parallel introgression of nuclear genes. The progress of cytoplasmic introgression is dependent on the degree of inbreeding of the recipient D. mauritiana strains. In reciprocal experiments, introgression was much less likely: few D. mauritiana migrant females are inseminated and their mtDNA frequency always remains very low. The results of these experiments support the hypothesis that a selective advantage of hybrids (probably at the nuclear level) has promoted mtDNA transfer from D. simulans Madagascar or Reunion populations into D. mauritiana through introgressive hybridization.

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