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Genomic incompatibilities in the hybrid zone between house mice in Denmark: evidence from steep and non-coincident chromosomal clines for Robertsonian fusions

  • Fabienne Fel-Clair (a1), Thomas Lenormand (a1), Josette Catalan (a1), Jacqueline Grobert (a1), Annie Orth (a2), Pierre Boursot (a2), Marie-Cecile Viroux (a3) and Janice Britton-Davidian (a1)...

Summary

The pattern of chromosomal variation is investigated in house mice from the Danish hybrid zone between the translocation-prone Mus musculus domesticus and the chromosomally conservative M. m. musculus. The cytogenetic analysis confirmed the non-introgression of three pairs of Robertsonian (Rb) fusions from M. m. domesticus into the M. m. musculus genome. The geographic distribution of two of these Rb fusions was shown to follow staggered chromosomal clines which increased in steepness the closer they were to the centre of the hybrid zone as defined by allozymes. Analysis of alternate hypotheses suggests that chromosomal differentiation of the Danish domesticus occurred after contact was established with musculus. The staggering of the clines would reflect the order of arrival of theRb fusions into the hybrid zone. Several models with different processes of underdominance of the chromosomal heterozygotes are discussed to account for the difference in width between clines. A selective model with increasing levels of genomic underdominance due to interaction with a progressively enriched musculus genome provides the best fit for the observed pattern. Selection against Rb fusions with little effect on the recombination of linked allozyme markers supportsthe view that no reduction in gene flow due to chromosomal heterozygosity is yet apparent through the hybrid zone and that only the centromeric segments of the Rb fusions are incompatible with the musculus genome.

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References

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