Desiccation-induced changes in recombination rate and crossover interference in Drosophila melanogaster: evidence for fitness-dependent plasticity
Meiotic recombination is evolutionarily ambiguous, as being associated with both benefits and costs to its bearers, with the resultant dependent on a variety of conditions. While existing theoretical models explain the emergence and maintenance of recombination, some of its essential features remain underexplored. Here we focus on one such feature, recombination plasticity, and test whether recombination response to stress is fitness-dependent. We compare desiccation stress effects on recombination rate and crossover interference in chromosome 3 between desiccation-sensitive and desiccation-tolerant Drosophila lines. We show that relative to desiccation-tolerant genotypes, desiccation-sensitive genotypes exhibit a significant segment-specific increase in single- and double-crossover frequencies across the pericentromeric region of chromosome 3. Significant changes (relaxation) in crossover interference were found for the interval pairs flanking the centromere and extending to the left arm of the chromosome. These results indicate that desiccation is a recombinogenic factor and that desiccation-induced changes in both recombination rate and crossover interference are fitness-dependent, with a tendency of less fitted individuals to produce more variable progeny. Such dependence may play an important role in the regulation of genetic variation in populations experiencing environmental challenges.
KeywordsRecombination rate Crossover interference Plasticity Fitness dependence Desiccation Drosophila melanogaster
We are grateful to two anonymous reviewers for critical comments and corrections which allowed to improve the manuscript. We also thank Kostas Illiadi, Eugene Kandel and Marios Kyriazis for fruitful discussions on soma-germline interactions.
The study was supported by the Israel Science Foundation (grant 1844/17); the University Grants Commission, India (DS Kothari project grant F.4-2/2006(BSR)/BL/16-17/0330); the Council for Higher Education of the Israeli Ministry of Education; and the Israeli Ministry of Aliyah and Integration.
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