The Normal Function of a Speciation Gene, Odysseus, and Its Hybrid Sterility Effect

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Science  02 Jul 2004:
Vol. 305, Issue 5680, pp. 81-83
DOI: 10.1126/science.1093904

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To understand how postmating isolation is connected to the normal process of species divergence and why hybrid male sterility is often the first sign of speciation, we analyzed the Odysseus (OdsH) gene of hybrid male sterility in Drosophila. We carried out expression analysis, transgenic study, and gene knockout. The combined evidence suggests that the sterility phenotype represents a novel manifestation of the gene function rather than the reduction or loss of the normal one. The gene knockout experiment identified the normal function of OdsH as a modest enhancement of sperm production in young males. The implication of a weak effect of OdsH on the normal phenotype but a strong influence on hybrid male sterility is discussed in light of Haldane's rule of postmating isolation.

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