Proteins involved in post-copulatory interactions between males and females are among the fastest evolving genes in many species, usually attributed to their involvement in reproductive conflict. As a result, these proteins are thought to often be involved in the formation of postmating-prezygotic incompatibilities between species. The Drosophila dunni subgroup consists of a dozen recently diverged species found across the Caribbean islands with varying levels of hybrid incompatibility. We performed experimental crosses between species in the dunni group and see some evidence of hybrid incompatibilities. We also find evidence of reduced survival following hybrid mating, likely due to postmating-prezygotic incompatibilities. We assessed rates of evolution between these species genomes and find evidence of rapid evolution and divergence of some reproductive proteins, specifically the seminal fluid proteins. This work suggests the rapid evolution of seminal fluid proteins may be associated with postmating-prezygotic isolation, which acts as a barrier for gene flow between even the most closely related species.
Tom Hill, Hazel-Lynn Rosales-Stephens, Robert L Unckless, Rapid divergence of the male reproductive proteins in the Drosophila dunni group and implications for postmating incompatibilities between species, G3 Genes|Genomes|Genetics, Volume 11, Issue 4, April 2021, jkab050, https://doi.org/10.1093/g3journal/jkab050