Developmental and cell cycle progression defects in Drosophila hybrid males

  • Bolkan B
  • Booker R
  • Goldberg M
 et al. 
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Matings between D. melanogaster females and males of sibling species in the D. melanogaster complex yield hybrid males that die prior to pupal differentiation. We have reexamined a previous report suggesting that the developmental defects in these lethal hybrid males reflect a failure in cell proliferation that may be the consequence of problems in mitotic chromosome condensation. We also observed a failure in cell proliferation, but find in contrast that the frequencies of mitotic figures and of nuclei staining for the mitotic marker phosphohistone H3 in the brains of hybrid male larvae are extremely low. We also found that very few of these brain cells in male hybrids are in S phase, as determined by BrdU incorporation. These data suggest that cells in hybrid males are arrested in either the G1 or G2 phases of the cell cycle. The cells in hybrid male brains appear to be particularly sensitive to environmental stress; our results indicate that certain in vitro incubation conditions induce widespread cellular necrosis in these brains, causing an abnormal nuclear morphology noted by previous investigators. We also document that hybrid larvae develop very slowly, particularly during the second larval instar. Finally, we found that the frequency of mitotic figures in hybrid male larvae mutant for Hybrid male rescue (Hmr) is increased relative to lethal hybrid males, although not to wild-type levels, and that chromosome morphology in Hmr− hybrid males is also not completely normal.

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  • Bonnie J. Bolkan

  • Ronald Booker

  • Michael L. Goldberg

  • Daniel A. Barbash

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