Evolution of the Drosophila Nuclear Pore Complex Results in Multiple Hybrid Incompatibilities

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Science  06 Feb 2009:
Vol. 323, Issue 5915, pp. 779-782
DOI: 10.1126/science.1169123

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Speciation often involves the evolution of incompatible gene interactions that cause sterility or lethality in hybrids between populations. These so-called hybrid incompatibilities occur between two or more functionally divergent loci. We show that the nucleoporin 160kDa (Nup160) gene of the fruitfly Drosophila simulans is incompatible with one or more factors on the D. melanogaster X chromosome, causing hybrid lethality. Nup160 encodes a nuclear pore complex protein and shows evidence of adaptive evolution. Furthermore, the protein encoded by Nup160 directly interacts with that of another hybrid lethality gene, Nup96, indicating that at least two lethal hybrid incompatibility genes have evolved as byproducts of divergent coevolution among interacting components of the Drosophila nuclear pore complex.

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