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Publication : Intraspecific sperm competition genes enforce post-mating species barriers in Drosophila.

First Author  Castillo Dean M Year  2014
Journal  Proc. Biol. Sci. Volume  281
PubMed ID  25355478 Abstract Text  Sexual selection and sexual conflict are considered important drivers of speciation, based on both theoretical models and empirical correlations between sexually selected traits and diversification. However, whether reproductive isolation between species evolves directly as a consequence of intrapopulation sexual dynamics remains empirically unresolved, in part because knowledge of the genetic mechanisms (if any) connecting these processes is limited. Here, we provide evidence of a direct mechanistic link between intraspecies sexual selection and reproductive isolation. We examined genes with known roles in intraspecific sperm competition (ISC) in D. melanogaster and assayed their impact on conspecific sperm precedence (CSP). We found that two such genes (Acp36DE and CG9997) contribute to both offensive sperm competition and CSP; null/knockdown lines both had lower competitive ability against D. melanogaster conspecifics and were no longer able to displace heterospecific D. simulans sperm in competitive matings. In comparison, Sex Peptide (Acp70A)-another locus essential for ISC-does not contribute to CSP. These data indicate that two loci important for sperm competitive interactions have an additional role in similar interactions that enforce post-mating reproductive isolation between species, and show that sexual selection and sexual isolation can act on the same molecular targets in a gene-specific manner.
Doi  10.1098/rspb.2014.2050 Issue  1797
Month  Dec

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