Making interspecific hybridizations, where possible remains an unparalleled option for studying the intricacies of speciation. In the Drosophila bipectinata species complex comprising of four species, namely D. bipectinata, D. parabipectinata, D. malerkotliana and D. pseudoananassae, interspecific hybrids can be obtained in the laboratory, thus bequeathing an ideal opportunity for studying speciation and phylogeny. With the view of investigating the degree of divergence between each species pair, we planned to study the polytene chromosomes of the F1 hybrids, as it would mirror the level of compatibility between the genomes of the parental species. Two sets of crosses were made, one involving homozygous strains of all four species from India and the other including homozygous strains from different places across the globe. Polytene chromosomes of F1 larvae from both sets of crosses had similar configurations. In F1 larvae from crosses involving D. bipectinata, D. parabipectinata and D. malerkotliana, complex configurations (depicting overlapping inversions) could be detected in different arms. However, they were fairly synapsed, indicating that the differences are only at the level of gene arrangements. The polytene chromosomes of larvae obtained by crossing D. pseudoananassae with the other three species were very thin with gross asynapsis in all the arms, demonstrating that the genome of D. pseudoananassae is widely diverged from rest of the species. The overlapping inversions (reflected in complex configuration), are inferred in the light of earlier chromosomal studies performed in this complex.
Volume 100, 2021
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