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Maheshwari, S., Barbash, D.A. (2012). An indel polymorphism in the hybrid incompatibility gene lethal hybrid rescue of Drosophila is functionally relevant.  Genetics 192(2): 683--691.
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Research paper

Hybrid incompatibility (HI) genes are frequently observed to be rapidly evolving under selection. This observation has led to the attractive conjecture that selection-derived protein-sequence divergence is culpable for incompatibilities in hybrids. The Drosophila simulans HI gene Lethal hybrid rescue (Lhr) is an intriguing case, because despite having experienced rapid sequence evolution, its HI properties are a shared function inherited from the ancestral state. Using an unusual D. simulans Lhr hybrid rescue allele, Lhr(2), we here identify a conserved stretch of 10 amino acids in the C terminus of LHR that is critical for causing hybrid incompatibility. Altering these 10 amino acids weakens or abolishes the ability of Lhr to suppress the hybrid rescue alleles Lhr(1) or Hmr(1), respectively. Besides single-amino-acid substitutions, Lhr orthologs differ by a 16-aa indel polymorphism, with the ancestral deletion state fixed in D. melanogaster and the derived insertion state at very high frequency in D. simulans. Lhr(2) is a rare D. simulans allele that has the ancestral deletion state of the 16-aa polymorphism. Through a series of transgenic constructs we demonstrate that the ancestral deletion state contributes to the rescue activity of Lhr(2). This indel is thus a polymorphism that can affect the HI function of Lhr.

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PMC3454889 (PMC) (EuropePMC)
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    Alleles (9)
    Genes (6)
    Natural transposons (1)
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    Transgenic Constructs (5)