Bernardini, F, Galizi, R, Wunderlich, M, Taxiarchi, C, Kranjc, N, Kyrou, K, Hammond, A, Nolan, T, Lawniczak, MNK, Papathanos, PA, Crisanti, A and Windbichler, N (2017) Cross-Species Y Chromosome Function Between Malaria Vectors of the Anopheles gambiae Species Complex. Genetics, 207 (2). 729 - 740. ISSN 1943-2631

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Y chromosome function, structure and evolution is poorly understood in many species, including the Anopheles genus of mosquitoes-an emerging model system for studying speciation that also represents the major vectors of malaria. While the Anopheline Y had previously been implicated in male mating behavior, recent data from the Anopheles gambiae complex suggests that, apart from the putative primary sex-determiner, no other genes are conserved on the Y. Studying the functional basis of the evolutionary divergence of the Y chromosome in the gambiae complex is complicated by complete F1 male hybrid sterility. Here, we used an F1 × F0 crossing scheme to overcome a severe bottleneck of male hybrid incompatibilities that enabled us to experimentally purify a genetically labeled A. gambiae Y chromosome in an A. arabiensis background. Whole genome sequencing (WGS) confirmed that the A. gambiae Y retained its original sequence content in the A. arabiensis genomic background. In contrast to comparable experiments in Drosophila, we find that the presence of a heterospecific Y chromosome has no significant effect on the expression of A. arabiensis genes, and transcriptional differences can be explained almost exclusively as a direct consequence of transcripts arising from sequence elements present on the A. gambiae Y chromosome itself. We find that Y hybrids show no obvious fertility defects, and no substantial reduction in male competitiveness. Our results demonstrate that, despite their radically different structure, Y chromosomes of these two species of the gambiae complex that diverged an estimated 1.85 MYA function interchangeably, thus indicating that the Y chromosome does not harbor loci contributing to hybrid incompatibility. Therefore, Y chromosome gene flow between members of the gambiae complex is possible even at their current level of divergence. Importantly, this also suggests that malaria control interventions based on sex-distorting Y drive would be transferable, whether intentionally or contingent, between the major malaria vector species.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Copyright & Usage Copyright © 2017 by the Genetics Society of America Available freely online through the author-supported open access option.
Uncontrolled Keywords: cross-species, y chromosomnme, malaria, anopheles gambiae
Subjects: Q Science > Q Science (General)
Divisions: Faculty of Natural Sciences > School of Life Sciences
Related URLs:
Depositing User: Symplectic
Date Deposited: 16 Jan 2020 09:39
Last Modified: 16 Jan 2020 09:39

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