Genetic conflict outweighs heterogametic incompatibility in the mouse hybrid zone?

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Abstract

BACKGROUND: The Mus musculus musculus/M. m. domesticus contact zone in Europe is characterised by sharp frequency discontinuities for sex chromosome markers at the centre of wider clines in allozyme frequencies. RESULTS: We identify a triangular area (approximately 330 km2) where the musculus Y chromosome introgresses across this front for up to 22 km into domesticus territory. Introgression of the Y chromosome is accompanied by a perturbation of the census sex ratio: the sex ratio is significantly female biased in musculus localities and domesticus localities lacking Y chromosome introgression. In contrast, where the musculus Y is detected in domesticus localities, the sex ratio is close to parity, and significantly different from both classes of female biased localities. The geographic position of an abrupt cline in an X chromosome marker, and autosomal clines centred on the same position, seem unaffected by the musculus Y introgression. CONCLUSION: We conclude that sex ratio distortion is playing a role in the geographic separation of speciation genes in this section of the mouse hybrid zone. We suggest that clines for genes involved in sex-ratio distortion have escaped from the centre of the mouse hybrid zone, causing a decay in the barrier to gene flow between the two house mouse taxa.

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Macholán, M., Baird, S. J. E., Munclinger, P., Dufková, P., Bímová, B., & Piálek, J. (2008). Genetic conflict outweighs heterogametic incompatibility in the mouse hybrid zone? BMC Evolutionary Biology, 8(1). https://doi.org/10.1186/1471-2148-8-271

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