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Keywords:

  • Cytoplasmic incompatibility;
  • nuclear-cytoplasmic inheritance;
  • Culex pipiens;
  • stable polymorphism;
  • sterility

Abstract

Although cytoplasmic incompatibilities have been used as a means of eradicating the mosquito Culex pipiens, the population dynamics of these sterilities in relation to the coexistence of multiple incompatible cytotypes in a single area has not been investigated, except in the case of two unidirectionally incompatible cytotypes. An analytical model of the evolution of n cytotypes in an infinite panmictic population has been developed in order to investigate polymorphic equilibrium. A necessary criterion for the stability of such an equilibrium is established; it is shown that a stable polymorphism cannot exist between incompatible cytotypes. This result is discussed in the light of population dynamics and genetics of Culex pipiens, and of our present knowledge on incompatibilities. The consequences of a geographic structuring and of homogamy are considered. A careful reconsideration of previous experimental results disclosed probable nuclear effects and a serious experimental weakness: with the common procedure of backcrossing hybrid females to males of constant genotype it is not possible to rule out probable nuclear effects with paternal expression. It is concluded that incompatibilities in Culex pipiens may have a nuclear-cytoplasmic determinism.