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Rapid spread of an inherited incompatibility factor in California Drosophila

Abstract

IN Drosophila simulans in California, an inherited cytoplasmic incompatibility factor reduces egg hatch when infected males mate with uninfected females1–7. The infection is spreading at a rate of more than 100km per year; populations in which the infection was rare have become almost completely infected within three years. Analyses of the spread using estimates of selection in the field suggest dispersal distances far higher than those found by direct observation of flies. Hence, occasional long-distance dispersal, possibly coupled with local extinction and recolonization, may be important to the dynamics. Incompatibility factors that can readily spread through natural populations may be useful for population manipulation and important as a post-mating isolating mechanism.

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Turelli, M., Hoffmann, A. Rapid spread of an inherited incompatibility factor in California Drosophila. Nature 353, 440–442 (1991). https://doi.org/10.1038/353440a0

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