Postzygotic reproductive isolation, based on negative interactions of genes, is a key aspect of divergent speciation in plants and animals. The effect of the interaction manifests as a drastic reduction in fitness of hybrids of the first of subsequent generations, which is expressed as hybrid lethality, weakness or sterility. Both simple genetic control of genetic incompatibility, which includes interallelic negative complementation or epistatic interactions of a limited number of genes, and more complex control, based on epistatic interactions of many genes, have been described in plants. It is thought that genes for reproductive isolation are nonuniformly distributed over the genome and are related to differential adaptation. The mosaic organization of the genomes in this respect provides restoration of their structural and functional integrity upon interspecies hybridization in natural conditions. Many cultured and wild plant species, in contrast to animals, were found to be polymorphic at genes controlling interspecies incompatibility. This fact facilitates genetic analysis of incompatibility and broadens perspectives in studying the structure, functions, and molecular evolution of the genes controlling postzygotic reproductive isolation, in view of the possible leading role of these genes in adaptive speciation.
Russian Journal of Genetics – Springer Journals
Published: Jun 19, 2009
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