Genome wide screen reveals a specific interaction between autosome and X that is essential for hybrid male sterility

Yu Bi, Xiaoliang Ren, Runsheng Li, Qiutao Ding, Dongying Xie, Zhongying Zhao*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Working paperPreprint


It is common that closely related species can mate with each other, but their hybrid progeny are often sterile or inviable, especially in the male progeny. The mechanism underlying the asymmetric sterility or inviability remains poorly understood. We previously addressed this question between two nematodes, Caenorhabditis briggsae and C. nigoni, by systematic substitution of various parts of the C. nigoni genome with its C. briggsae’s equivalent followed by phenotypic examination. Here we investigate the genetic mechanism of the asymmetric sterility and inviability in the hybrid F1 male and female progeny between the two species. We achieved this through crossing a cohort of C. nigoni strains each carrying a substitution with C. briggsae, which led to differential homozygosity of the C. briggsae substitution in the hybrid progeny. The aggregated substitutions cover 94.6% of the C. briggsae genome, including 100% of the X chromosome. Surprisingly, we identified two C. briggsae X fragments that produced C. nigoni male sterility as a substitution but rescued hybrid F1 sterility in males fathered by C. briggsae, indicating that at least two separate X-autosome interactions are involved in the hybrid male sterility. In addition, we identified multiple genomic intervals on C. briggsae autosomes that can rescue the inviability, but not the sterility, of hybrid F1 males fathered by C. nigoni. Importantly, we isolated a 1.1-Mb genomic interval that specifically interacts with an X-linked introgression, which is essential for hybrid male fertility. We further identified three C. briggsae genomic intervals on the Chromosome I, II and III, respectively that produce inviability in all F1 progeny dependent or independent of the parent-of-origin. The identified interacting loci lays a foundation for their molecular characterization.
Original languageEnglish
PublisherCold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press
Number of pages41
Publication statusPublished - 14 Dec 2018

Publication series


User-Defined Keywords

  • Hybrid male sterility
  • Caenorhabditis briggsae
  • C. nigoni
  • introgression
  • X-autosome interaction


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