Indirect Evolution of Hybrid Lethality Due to Linkage with Selected Locus in Mimulus guttatus
MetadataShow full item record
Most species are superbly and intricately adapted to the environments in which they live. Adaptive evolution by natural selection is the primary force shaping biological diversity. Differences between closely related species in ecologically selected characters such as habitat preference, reproductive timing, courtship behavior, or pollinator attraction may prevent interbreeding in nature, causing reproductive isolation. But does ecological adaptation cause reproductive incompatibilities such as hybrid sterility or lethality? Although several genes causing hybrid incompatibilities have been identified, there is intense debate over whether the genes that contribute to ecological adaptations also cause hybrid incompatibilities. Thirty years ago, a genetic study of local adaptation to copper mine soils in the wildflower Mimulus guttatus identified a locus that appeared to cause copper tolerance and hybrid lethality in crosses to other populations. But do copper tolerance and hybrid lethality have the same molecular genetic basis? Here we show, using high-resolution genome mapping, that copper tolerance and hybrid lethality are not caused by the same gene but are in fact separately controlled by two tightly linked loci. We further show that selection on the copper tolerance locus indirectly caused the hybrid incompatibility allele to go to high frequency in the copper mine population because of hitchhiking. Our results provide a new twist on Darwin's original supposition that hybrid incompatibilities evolve as an incidental by-product of ordinary adaptation to the environment.
Kevin M. Wright is with Duke University and Harvard University, Deborah Lloyd is with University of Exeter, David B. Lowry is with UT Austin, Mark R. Macnair is with University of Exeter, John H. Willis is with Duke University.
CitationWright KM, Lloyd D, Lowry DB, Macnair MR, Willis JH (2013) Indirect Evolution of Hybrid Lethality Due to Linkage with Selected Locus in Mimulus guttatus. PLoS Biol 11(2): e1001497. doi:10.1371/journal.pbio.1001497
The following license files are associated with this item: