Drosophila ananassae: a species characterized by spontaneous male recombination in appreciable frequency
Mutation and recombination are primarily responsible for generating the genetic variability in natural populations of microorganisms, plant and animal species including humans. Upon such genetic variations, elemental forces of evolution such as natural selection, random genetic drift and migration operate to bring about micro-evolutionary changes. Recombination or crossing-over produces new combinations of genes due to interchange of corresponding segments between nonsister chromatids of homologous chromosomes, thus, it is an important evolutionary factor. Since the time of T. H. Morgan, Drosophila has been subjected to extensive investigations on crossing over while employing a number of markers, which were used for gene mapping. Interestingly, recombination occurs in females of D. melanogaster but not in males. Later on, male crossing over was investigated in various species and its occurrence was reported in D. melanogaster, D. ananassae, D. simulans, D. willistoni, D. littoralis and D. bipectinata. Recombination occurs at very low rate in all these species except for D. ananassae, which shows spontaneous male crossing over in appreciable frequency, which is meiotic in origin. This unusual phenomenon in D. ananassae is influenced by various genetic factors as well as it shows strain variation as far as frequency of male recombination is concerned. Further, the presence of chiasmata during meiosis in males at a frequency capable of accounting for the observed recombination frequency extends evidence for meiotic origin of recombination in males of D. ananassae.
Volume 100, 2021
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