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Some stalk-eyed flies in the genus Teleopsis carry selfish genetic elements that induce sex ratio (SR) meiotic drive and impact the fitness of male and female carriers. Here, we produce a chromosome-level genome assembly of the stalk-eyed fly, T. dalmanni, to elucidate the pattern of genomic divergence associated with the presence of drive elements. We find evidence for multiple nested inversions along the sex ratio haplotype and widespread differentiation and divergence between the inversion types along the entire X chromosome. In addition, the genome contains tens of thousands of transposable element (TE) insertions and hundreds of transcriptionally active TE families that have produced new insertions. Moreover, we find that many TE families are expressed at a significantly higher level in SR male testis, suggesting a molecular connection between these two types of selfish genetic elements in this species. We identify T. dalmanni orthologs of genes involved in genome defense via the piRNA pathway, including core members maelstrom, piwi and Argonaute3, that are diverging in sequence, expression or copy number between the SR and standard (ST) chromosomes, and likely influence TE regulation in flies carrying a sex ratio X chromosome.


bioRxiv preprint doi: this version posted September 23, 2020. The copyright holder for this preprint (which was not certified by peer review) is the author/funder.

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.