Editor's Summary

22 October 2009

X chromosomes in speciation


The discovery of a newly formed sex-chromosome system in a Japanese population of threespine stickleback — but not in a second closely related species sharing the same habitat — provides evidence that sex-chromosome changes may have a greater role in causing reproductive isolation and speciation than was thought. Genetic mapping showed that the newly evolved X chromosome contains genes for male courtship behaviour, whereas the ancestral X chromosome contains genes for both behavioural isolation and hybrid male sterility. These traits contribute to an effective reproductive barrier between this species and the ancestral form found in the Pacific Ocean.

AuthorsMaking the paper: Catherine Peichel

New fish sex chromosome holds key to aggressive mating.

doi:10.1038/72671026a

ArticleA role for a neo-sex chromosome in stickleback speciation

Jun Kitano, Joseph A. Ross, Seiichi Mori, Manabu Kume, Felicity C. Jones, Yingguang F. Chan, Devin M. Absher, Jane Grimwood, Jeremy Schmutz, Richard M. Myers, David M. Kingsley & Catherine L. Peichel

doi:10.1038/nature08441