Molecular evolution of candidate genes involved in post-mating-prezygotic reproductive isolation

Jeremy M. Bono, Luciano M. Matzkin, K. Hoang, L. Brandsmeier

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Traits involved in post-copulatory interactions between the sexes may evolve rapidly as a result of sexual selection and/or sexual conflict, leading to post-mating-prezygotic (PMPZ) reproductive isolating barriers between diverging lineages. Although the importance of PMPZ isolation is recognized, the molecular basis of such incompatibilities is not well understood. Here, we investigate molecular evolution of a subset of Drosophila mojavensis and Drosophila arizonae reproductive tract genes. These include genes that are transcriptionally regulated by conspecific mating in females, many of which are misregulated in heterospecific crosses, and a set of male genes whose transcripts are transferred to females during mating. As a group, misregulated female genes are not more divergent and do not appear to evolve under different selection pressures than other female reproductive genes. Male transferred genes evolve at a higher rate than testis-expressed genes, and at a similar rate compared to accessory gland protein genes, which are known to evolve rapidly. Four of the individual male transferred genes show patterns of divergent positive selection between D. mojavensis and D. arizonae. Three of the four genes belong to the sperm-coating protein-like family, including an ortholog of antares, which influences female fertility and receptivity in Drosophila melanogaster. Synthesis of these molecular evolutionary analyses with transcriptomics and predicted functional information makes these genes candidates for involvement in PMPZ reproductive incompatibilities between D. mojavensis and D. arizonae.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)403-414
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Evolutionary Biology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Accessory gland proteins
  • Divergent selection
  • Drosophila arizonae
  • Drosophila mojavensis
  • Fertility
  • Reproductive incompatibilities
  • Reproductive tract
  • Sexual conflict
  • Sexual selection
  • Speciation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics


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