Genetic Dissection of Hybrid Male Sterility Across Stages of Spermatogenesis.

Abstract:

:Hybrid sterility is a common form of reproductive isolation between nascent species. Although hybrid sterility is routinely documented and genetically dissected in speciation studies, its developmental basis is rarely examined, especially in generations beyond the F1 generation. To identify phenotypic and genetic determinants of hybrid male sterility from a developmental perspective, we characterized testis histology in 312 F2 hybrids generated by intercrossing inbred strains of Mus musculus domesticus and M. m. musculus, two subspecies of house mice. Hybrids display a range of histologic abnormalities that indicate defective spermatogenesis. Among these abnormalities, we quantified decreased testis size, reductions in spermatocyte and spermatid number, increased apoptosis of meiosis I spermatocytes, and more multinucleated syncytia. Collectively, our phenotypic data point to defects in meiosis I as a primary barrier to reproduction. We identified seven quantitative trait loci (QTL) controlling five histologic traits. A region of chromosome 17 that contains Prdm9, a gene known to confer F1 hybrid male sterility, affects multinucleated syncytia and round spermatids, potentially extending the phenotypic outcomes of this incompatibility. The X chromosome also plays a key role, with loci affecting multinucleated syncytia, apoptosis of round spermatids, and round spermatid numbers. We detected an epistatic interaction between QTL on chromosomes 17 and X for multinucleated syncytia. Our results refine the developmental basis of a key reproductive barrier in a classic model system for speciation genetics.

journal_name

Genetics

journal_title

Genetics

authors

Schwahn DJ,Wang RJ,White MA,Payseur BA

doi

10.1534/genetics.118.301658

subject

Has Abstract

pub_date

2018-12-01 00:00:00

pages

1453-1465

issue

4

eissn

0016-6731

issn

1943-2631

pii

genetics.118.301658

journal_volume

210

pub_type

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