Association Between Levels of Coding Sequence Divergence and Gene Misregulation in Drosophila Male Hybrids
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Previous studies have shown widespread conservation of gene expression levels between species of the Drosophila melanogaster subgroup as well as a positive correlation between coding sequence divergence and expression level divergence between species. Meanwhile, large-scale misregulation of gene expression level has been described in interspecific sterile hybrids between D. melanogaster, D. simulans, D. mauritiana, and D. sechellia. Using data from gene expression analysis involving D. simulans, D. melanogaster, and their hybrids, we observed a significant positive correlation between protein sequence divergence and gene expression differences between hybrids and their parental species. Furthermore, we demonstrate that underexpressed misregulated genes in hybrids are evolving more rapidly at the protein sequence level than nonmisregulated genes or overexpressed misregulated genes, highlighting the possible effects of sexual and natural selection as male-biased genes and nonessential genes are the principal gene categories affected by interspecific hybrid misregulation.
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