Genetical Research

Research Article

Genetics of sexual isolation in females of the Drosophila simulans species complex

Jerry A. Coynea1

a1 Department of Ecology and Evolution, The University of Chicago, 1101 E. 57th St, Chicago, IL 60637 USA


Genetic analysis of hybrids between Drosophila simulans and D. sechellia shows that sexual isolation in females is caused by at least two genes, one on each major autosome, while the X chromosome has no effect. These results are similar to those of a previous study of hybrids between D. simulans and another sibling species, D. mauritiana. In this latter hybridization, each arm of the second chromosome carries genes causing sexual isolation in females, implying a total divergence of at least three loci. The genetic similarity between the D. simulans/D. mauritiana and D. simulans/D. sechellia hybridizations probably results from independent evolution and not phylogenetic artifacts, because the dominance relationships and behavioural interactions differ between the two hybridizations. The lack of an X-chromosome effect on sexual isolation contrasts with genetic studies of post-zygotic reproductive isolation, which invariably show strong effects of this chromosome.

(Received December 30 1991)

(Revised February 26 1992)