Although sex chromosome meiotic drive has been observed in a variety of species for over 50 years, the genes causing drive are only known in a few cases, and none of these cases cause distorted sex-ratios in nature. In stalk-eyed flies (Teleopsis dalmanni), driving X chromosomes are commonly found at frequencies approaching 30% in the wild, but the genetic basis of drive has remained elusive due to reduced recombination between driving and non-driving X chromosomes. Here, we used RNAseq to identify transcripts that are differentially expressed between males carrying either a driving X (X SR ) or a standard X chromosome (X ST ), and found hundreds of these, the majority of which are X-linked. Drive-associated transcripts show increased levels of sequence divergence (dN/dS) compared to a control set, and are predominantly expressed either in testes or in the gonads of both sexes. Finally, we confirmed that X SR and X ST are highly divergent by estimating sequence differentiation between the RNAseq pools. We found that X-linked transcripts were often strongly differentiated (whereas most autosomal transcripts were not), supporting the presence of a relatively large region of recombination suppression on X SR presumably caused by one or more inversions. We have identified a group of genes that are good candidates for further study into the causes and consequences of sex-chromosome drive, and demonstrated that meiotic drive has had a profound effect on sequence evolution and gene expression of X-linked genes in this species. © 2014 Reinhardt et al.
Reinhardt J.A., Brand C.L., Paczolt K.A., Johns P.M., Baker R.H., Wilkinson G.S. (2014) Meiotic Drive Impacts Expression and Evolution of X-Linked Genes in Stalk-Eyed Flies. PLoS Genetics 10: -. doi: 10.1371/journal.pgen.1004362