Analysis of meiotic recombination in Drosophila simulans shows heterozygous inversions do not cause an interchromosomal effect

Bowen Man,Elizabeth Kim, Alekhya Vadlakonda,David L. Stern,K. Nicole Crown


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Chromosome inversions are of unique importance in the evolution of genomes and species because when heterozygous with a standard arrangement chromosome, they suppress meiotic crossovers within the inversion. In Drosophila species, heterozygous inversions also cause the interchromosomal effect, whereby the presence of a heterozygous inversion induces a dramatic increase in crossover frequencies in the remainder of the genome within a single meiosis. To date, the interchromosomal effect has been studied exclusively in species that also have high frequencies of inversions in wild populations. We took advantage of a recently developed approach for generating inversions in Drosophila simulans , a species that does not have inversions in wild populations, to ask if there is an interchromosomal effect. We used the existing chromosome 3R balancer and generated a new chromosome 2L balancer to assay for the interchromosomal effect genetically and cytologically. We found no evidence of an interchromosomal effect in D. simulans . To gain insight into the underlying mechanistic reasons, we qualitatively analyzed the relationship between meiotic double-strand break formation and synaptonemal complex assembly. We find that the synaptonemal complex is assembled prior to double-strand break formation as in D. melanogaster ; however, we show that the synaptonemal complex is assembled prior to localization of the oocyte determination factor Orb, whereas in D. melanogaster , synaptonemal complex formation does not begin until Orb is localized. Together, our data show heterozygous inversions in D. simulans do not induce an interchromosomal effect and that there are differences in the developmental programming of the early stages of meiosis.
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