Yoshida K(1)(2), Sanada-Morimura S(3), Huang SH(4), Tokuda M(1)(2). Author information:
(1)The United Graduate School of Agricultural Sciences, Kagoshima University,
Kagoshima 890-0065, Japan.
(2)Faculty of Agriculture, Saga University, Saga 840-8502, Japan.
(3)Kyushu Okinawa Agricultural Research Center, NARO, Kumamoto 861-1192, Japan.
(4)Chiayi Agricultural Experiment Station, Taiwan Agricultural Research
Institute, Council of Agriculture, Chiayi 60044, Taiwan, People's Republic of
According to evolutionary theory, sex ratio distortions caused by reproductive parasites such as Wolbachia and Spiroplasma are predicted to be rapidly normalized by the emergence of host nuclear suppressors. However, such processes in the evolutionary arms race are difficult to observe because sex ratio biases will be promptly hidden and become superficially unrecognizable. The evolution of genetic suppressors has been reported in just two insect species so far. In the small brown planthopper, Laodelphax striatellus, female-biases caused by Spiroplasma, which is a 'late' male-killer, have been found in some populations. During the continuous rearing of L. striatellus, we noted that a rearing strain had a 1 : 1 sex ratio even though it harboured Spiroplasma. Through introgression crossing experiments with a strain lacking suppressors, we revealed that the L. striatellus strain had the zygotic male-killing suppressor acting as a dominant trait. The male-killing phenotype was hidden by the suppressor even though Spiroplasma retained its male-killing ability. This is the first study to demonstrate the existence of a late male-killing suppressor and its mode of inheritance. Our results, together with those of previous studies, suggest that the inheritance modes of male-killing suppressors are similar regardless of insect order or early or late male killing.
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