• H. A. Ranganath

      Articles written in Journal of Genetics

    • Evolution of a recent neo-Y sex chromosome in a laboratory population ofDrosophila

      M. T. Tanuja N. B. Ramachandra H. A. Ranganath

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      In many species of animals, one of the sexes has a chromosome that is structurally and functionally different from its socalled homologue. Conventionally, it is called Y chromosome or W chromosome depending on whether it is present in males or females respectively. The corresponding homologous chromosomes are called X and Z chromosomes. The dimorphic sex chromosomes are believed to have originated from undifferentiated autosomes. In extant species it is difficult to envisage the changes that have occurred in the evolution of dimorphic sex chromosomes. In our laboratory, interracial hybridization between twoDrosophila chromosomal races has resulted in the evolution of a novel race, which we have called Cytorace 1. Here we record that in the genome of Cytorace 1 one of the autosomes of its parents is inherited in a manner similar to that of a classical Y chromosome. Thus this unique Cytorace 1 has the youngest neo-Y sex chromosome (5000 days old; about 300 generations) and it can serve as a ‘window’ for following the transition of an autosome to a Y sex chromosome.

    • Hybridization, transgressive segregation and evolution of new genetic systems inDrosophila

      H. A. Ranganath S. Aruna

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      Introgressive hybridization facilitates incorporation of genes from one species into the gene pool of another. Studies on long-term effects of introgressive hybridization in animal systems are sparse.Drosophila nasuta (2n = 8) andD. albomicans (2n = 6)—a pair of allopatric, morphologically almost identical, cross-fertile members of thenasuta subgroup of theimmigrans species group-constitute an excellent system to analyse the impact of hybridization followed by transgressive segregation of parental characters in the hybrid progeny. Hybrid populations ofD. nasuta andD. albomicans maintained for over 500 generations in the laboratory constitute new recombinant hybrid genomes, here termed cytoraces. The impact of hybridization, followed by introgression and transgressive segregation, on chromosomal constitution and karyotypes, some fitness parameters, isozymes, components of mating behaviour and mating preference reveals a complex pattern of interracial divergence among parental species and cytoraces. This assemblage of characters in different combinations in a laboratory hybrid zone allows us to study the emergence of new genetic systems. Here, we summarize results from our ongoing studies comparing these hybrid cytoraces with the parental species, and discuss the implications of these findings for our understanding of the evolution of new genetic systems.

    • Introgressive hybridization and evolution of a novel protein phenotype: Glue protein profiles in thenasuta-albomicans complex ofDrosophila

      S. Aruna H. A. Ranganath

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      Glue proteins are tissue-specific proteins synthesized by larval salivary gland cells ofDrosophila. InDrosophila nasuta nasuta andD. n. albomicans of thenasuta subgroup, the genes that encode the major glue protein fractions are X-linked. In the present study, these X-linked markers have been employed to trace the pattern of introgression ofD. n. nasuta andD. n. albomicans genomes with respect to the major glue protein fractions in their interracial hybrids, called cytoraces. These cytoraces have inherited the chromosomes of both parents and have been maintained in the laboratory for over 400–550 generations. The analysis has revealed that cytoraces withD. n. albomicans X chromosome show eitherD. n. nasuta pattern or a completely novel pattern of glue protein fractions. Further, quantitative analysis also shows lack of correlation between the chromosomal pattern of inheritance and overall quantity of the major glue protein fractions in the cytoraces. Thus, in cytoraces the parental chromosomes are not just differentially represented but there is evidence for introgression even at the gene level.

    • Karyotype instability in the ponerine ant genus Diacamma

      Nutan Karnik H. Channaveerappa H. A. Ranganath Raghavendra Gadagkar

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      The queenless ponerine ant Diacamma ceylonense and a population of Diacamma from the Nilgiri hills which we refer to as ‘nilgiri’, exhibit interesting similarities as well as dissimilarities. Molecular phylogenetic study of these morphologically almost similar taxa has shown that D. ceylonense is closely related to ‘nilgiri’ and indicates that ‘nilgiri’ is a recent diversion in the Diacamma phylogenetic tree. However, there is a striking behavioural difference in the way reproductive monopoly is maintained by the respective gamergates (mated egg laying workers), and there is evidence that they are genetically differentiated, suggesting a lack of gene flow. To develop a better understanding of the mechanism involved in speciation of Diacamma, we have analysed karyotypes of D. ceylonense and ‘nilgiri’. In both, we found surprising inter-individual and intra-individual karyotypic mosaicism. The observed numerical variability, both at intra-individual and inter-individual levels, does not appear to have hampered the sustainability of the chromosomal diversity in each population under study. Since the related D. indicum displays no such intra-individual or inter-individual variability whatsoever under identical experimental conditions, these results are unlikely to be artifacts. Although no known mechanisms can account for the observed karyotypic variability of this nature, we believe that the present findings on the ants under study would provide opportunities for exciting new discoveries concerning the origin, maintenance and significance of intra-individual and inter-individual karyotypic mosaicism.

    • From the editor’s desk

      H. A. Ranganath

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    • Darwin’s finches: a goldmine for evolutionary biologists


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