GONUTS has been updated to MW1.31 Most things seem to be working but be sure to report problems.

Have any questions? Please email us at ecoliwiki@gmail.com


Jump to: navigation, search

Maheshwari, S and Barbash, DA (2012) Cis-by-Trans regulatory divergence causes the asymmetric lethal effects of an ancestral hybrid incompatibility gene. PLoS Genet. 8:e1002597


The Dobzhansky and Muller (D-M) model explains the evolution of hybrid incompatibility (HI) through the interaction between lineage-specific derived alleles at two or more loci. In agreement with the expectation that HI results from functional divergence, many protein-coding genes that contribute to incompatibilities between species show signatures of adaptive evolution, including Lhr, which encodes a heterochromatin protein whose amino acid sequence has diverged extensively between Drosophila melanogaster and D. simulans by natural selection. The lethality of D. melanogaster/D. simulans F1 hybrid sons is rescued by removing D. simulans Lhr, but not D. melanogaster Lhr, suggesting that the lethal effect results from adaptive evolution in the D. simulans lineage. It has been proposed that adaptive protein divergence in Lhr reflects antagonistic coevolution with species-specific heterochromatin sequences and that defects in LHR protein localization cause hybrid lethality. Here we present surprising results that are inconsistent with this coding-sequence-based model. Using Lhr transgenes expressed under native conditions, we find no evidence that LHR localization differs between D. melanogaster and D. simulans, nor do we find evidence that it mislocalizes in their interspecific hybrids. Rather, we demonstrate that Lhr orthologs are differentially expressed in the hybrid background, with the levels of D. simulans Lhr double that of D. melanogaster Lhr. We further show that this asymmetric expression is caused by cis-by-trans regulatory divergence of Lhr. Therefore, the non-equivalent hybrid lethal effects of Lhr orthologs can be explained by asymmetric expression of a molecular function that is shared by both orthologs and thus was presumably inherited from the ancestral allele of Lhr. We present a model whereby hybrid lethality occurs by the interaction between evolutionarily ancestral and derived alleles.


PubMed PMC3310770 Online version:10.1371/journal.pgen.1002597


Animals; Animals, Genetically Modified; Biological Evolution; Drosophila Proteins/genetics; Drosophila Proteins/metabolism; Drosophila melanogaster/genetics; Gene Expression Regulation; Genes, Lethal; Genetic Speciation; Heterochromatin/genetics; Hybridization, Genetic; Regulatory Sequences, Nucleic Acid/genetics; Reproductive Isolation



Gene product Qualifier GO Term Evidence Code with/from Aspect Extension Notes Status



GO:0000792: heterochromatin

ECO:0000314: direct assay evidence used in manual assertion


Seeded From UniProt


See also


See Help:References for how to manage references in GONUTS.