Karyological evidence of hybridogenesis in Greenlings (Teleostei: Hexagrammidae)


Two types of natural hybrids were discovered in populations of three Hexagrammos species (Teleostei: Hexagrammidae) distributed off the southern coast of Hokkaido in the North Pacific Ocean. Both hybrids reproduce by hybridogenesis, in which the maternal haploid genome is transmitted to offspring without recombination and the paternal haploid genome is eliminated during gametogenesis. While natural hybrids are unisexual and reproduce hemiclonally by backcrossing with the paternal species (BC-P), artificial F-1-hybrids between the pure species produce recombinant gametes. Thus, despite having the same genome composition, the natural hybrids and the F-1-hybrids are not genetically identical. Here, to clarify the differences between both hybrids, we examined the karyotypes of the three Hexagrammos species, their natural hybrids, the artificial F-1-hybrids, and several backcrosses. Artificial F-1-hybrids have karyotypes and chromosome numbers that are intermediate between those of the parental species. Conversely, the natural hybrids differed from F-1-hybrids by having several large metacentric chromosomes and microchromosomes. Since the entire maternal haploid genome is inherited by the natural hybrids, maternal backcrosses (BC-M) between natural hybrids and males of the maternal species (H. octogrammus; Hoc) have a hemiclonal Hoc genome with large chromosomes from the mother and a normal Hoc genome from the father. However, the large chromosomes disappear in offspring of BC-M, probably due to fissuring during gametogenesis. Similarly, microsatellite DNA analysis revealed that chromosomes of BC-M undergo recombination. These findings suggest that genetic factors associated with hemiclonal reproduction may be located on the large metacentric chromosomes of natural hybrids.


  • PLoS ONE

    PLoS ONE 12 (7), e0180626-, 2017-07-05


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