Nov 14, 2015

Hybrid dysgenesis in Drosophila simulans due to a rapid global invasion of the P-element

BioRxiv : the Preprint Server for Biology
Tom HillAndrea J Betancourt


In a classic example of the invasion of a species by a selfish genetic element, the P-element was horizontally transferred from a distantly related species into Drosophila melanogaster, where it caused a syndrome of abnormal phenotypes, including sterility, called "hybrid dysgenesis". The P-element spread globally in the course of a few decades in D. melanogaster, while its sister species, including D. simulans, remained P-element free. Here, we find hybrid dysgenesis also occurs between D. simulans strains collected in different years; a survey of 154 strains shows that over one-third of them induce hybrid dysgenesis. Using genomic and transcriptomic data, we show that this dysgenesis-inducing phenotype is associated with the presence of the P-element, which has recently invaded D. simulans. We survey 573 D. simulans strains collected over the past 30 years for the presence of the P-element, and find that the D. simulans invasion of the P-element occurred rapidly, with infected strains across three continents being rare in 2004 and common by 2014. Importantly, strains collected from the latter phase of this invasion have adapted to ameliorate the effects of the P-element, as evidenced by their resistance to the hybrid dysgenes...Continue Reading

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Mentioned in this Paper

genetic element
Drosophila simulans
Diplopterygium simulans
Chemically Induced
Cell Hybridization
Euphorbia simulans
Dioscorea simulans

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