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Maternally inherited microbes that spread via male-killing are common pathogens of insects, yet very little is known about the evolutionary duration of these associations. The few examples to date indicate very recent, and thus potentially transient, infections. A male-killing strain of Wolbachia has recently been discovered in natural populations of(More)
Reinforcement refers to the evolution of increased mating discrimination against heterospecific individuals in zones of geographic overlap and can be considered a final stage in the speciation process. One the factors that may affect reinforcement is the degree to which hybrid matings result in the permanent loss of genes from a species' gene pool. Matings(More)
A substantial fraction of insects and other terrestrial arthropods are infected with parasitic, maternally transmitted endosymbiotic bacteria that manipulate host reproduction. In addition to imposing direct selection on the host to resist these effects, endosymbionts may also have indirect effects on the evolution of the mtDNA with which they are(More)
Organisms and the symbionts they harbor may experience opposing forces of selection. In particular, the contrasting inheritance patterns of maternally transmitted symbionts and their host's nuclear genes can engender conflict among organizational levels over the optimal host offspring sex ratio. This study uses a male-killing Wolbachia endosymbiont and its(More)
Recent studies have shown that some plants and animals harbor microbial symbionts that protect them against natural enemies. Here we demonstrate that a maternally transmitted bacterium, Spiroplasma, protects Drosophila neotestacea against the sterilizing effects of a parasitic nematode, both in the laboratory and the field. This nematode parasitizes D.(More)
Adaptation by natural selection proceeds most efficiently when alleles compete solely on the basis of their effects on the survival and reproduction of their carriers. A major condition for this is equal Mendelian segregation, but meiotic drive can short-circuit this process. The evolution of drive often involves multiple, interacting genetic components,(More)
Among major taxonomic groups, microsatellites exhibit considerable variation in composition and allele length, but they also show considerable conservation within many major groups. This variation may be explained by slow microsatellite evolution so that all species within a group have similar patterns of variation, or by taxon-specific mutational or(More)
Several empirical studies of sperm competition in populations polymorphic for a driving X chromosome have revealed that Sex-ratio males (those carrying a driving X) are at a disadvantage relative to Standard males. Because the frequency of the driving X chromosome determines the population-level sex ratio and thus alters male and female mating rates, the(More)
Males are evolutionary dead-ends for endosymbiotic bacteria that are transmitted maternally. It has been shown theoretically that male killing will enhance endosymbiont transmission if the fitness of females increases as a result of the death of their male siblings. Despite the intuitive appeal of this explanation for the spread of male-killing bacteria, it(More)
Six species of Drosophila were tested for tolerance to the mushroom toxin alpha-amanitin, a potent inhibitor of RNA polymerase II. Three nonmycophagous species-D. melanogaster, D. immigrans, and D. pseudoobscura-showed very low survival and long development times in the presence of amanitin. Three mycophagous species-D. putrida, D. recens, and D.(More)