Drosophila pseudoobscura harbors a rich gene arrangement polymorphism on the third chromosome generated by a series of overlapping paracentric inversions. The arrangements suppress recombination in heterokaryotypic individuals, which allows for the selective maintenance of coadapted gene complexes. Previous mapping experiments used to determine the degree to which recombination is suppressed in gene arrangement heterozygotes produced non-recombinant progeny in non-Mendelian ratios. The deviations from Mendelian expectations could be the result of viability differences between wild and mutant chromosomes, meiotic drive because of achiasmate pairing of homologues in heterokaryotypic females during meiosis, or a combination of both mechanisms. The possibility that the frequencies of the chromosomal arrangements in natural populations are affected by mechanisms other than adaptive selection led us to consider these hypotheses. We performed reciprocal crosses involving both heterozygous males and females to determine if the frequency of the non-recombinant progeny deviates significantly from Mendelian expectations and if the frequencies deviate between reciprocal crosses. We failed to observe non-Mendelian ratios in multiple crosses, and the frequency of the non-recombinant classes differed in only one of five pairs of reciprocal crosses despite sufficient power to detect these differences in all crosses. Our results indicate that deviations from Mendelian expectations in recombination experiments involving the D. pseudoobscura inversion system are most likely due to fitness differences of gene arrangement karyotypes in different environments.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)