A Screen for Recessive Speciation Genes Expressed in the Gametes of F1 Hybrid Yeast

Greig, Duncan
February 2007
PLoS Genetics;Feb2007, Vol. 3 Issue 2, p281
Academic Journal
Diploid hybrids of Saccharomyces cerevisiae and its closest relative, Saccharomyces paradoxus, are viable, but the sexual gametes they produce are not. One of several possible causes of this gamete inviability is incompatibility between genes from different species—such incompatible genes are usually called ''speciation genes.'' In diploid F1 hybrids, which contain a complete haploid genome from each species, the presence of compatible alleles can mask the effects of (recessive) incompatible speciation genes. But in the haploid gametes produced by F1 hybrids, recessive speciation genes may be exposed, killing the gametes and thus preventing F1 hybrids from reproducing sexually. Here I present the results of an experiment to detect incompatibilities that kill hybrid gametes. I transferred nine of the 16 S. paradoxus chromosomes individually into S. cerevisiae gametes and tested the ability of each to replace its S. cerevisiae homeolog. All nine chromosomes were compatible, producing nine viable haploid strains, each with 15 S. cerevisiae chromosomes and one S. paradoxus chromosome. Thus, none of these chromosomes contain speciation genes that were capable of killing the hybrid gametes that received them. This is a surprising result that suggests that such speciation genes do not play a major role in yeast speciation.


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