The genetic basis of sterility in Fj male hybrids of Drosophila buzzatii and D. koepferae has been investigated in two steps. (1) By successive backcrossing of hybrid females to either parental species. (2) By assessment of the effects on male fertility of selected segments of polytene chromosomes from the donor species on a background entirely derived from the recipient species. The length of introgressed segments producing sterility was progressively reduced through repeated backcrosses. This procedure sometimes led to an approximate mapping of major genes of hybrid sterility (genic sterility) on the polytene chromosome map. At other times it was found that sterility was produced only when the introgressed segment exceeded a certain threshold size (chromosomal sterility). The contribution of the autosomes to hybrid sterility seems to be mainly of the chromosomal type. The evidence concerning the X chromosome is equivocal. No fertile males were found following introgression with any of the investigated segments of this chromosome. These results are compatible both with the presence of at least six major genes of hybrid sterility (genic sterility) and with the existence of a rather small threshold size for the chromosome segments producing sterility (chromosomal sterility). The role of the Y chromosome was not investigated in this study. © 1991 The Genetical Society of Great Britain.
- Hybrid male sterility
- Major genes