C. K. Ellison and O. Niehuis contributed equally to this work.
Hybrid breakdown and mitochondrial dysfunction in hybrids of Nasonia parasitoid wasps
Article first published online: 22 SEP 2008
© 2008 The Authors. Journal Compilation © 2008 European Society For Evolutionary Biology
Journal of Evolutionary Biology
Volume 21, Issue 6, pages 1844–1851, November 2008
How to Cite
ELLISON, C. K., NIEHUIS, O. and GADAU, J. (2008), Hybrid breakdown and mitochondrial dysfunction in hybrids of Nasonia parasitoid wasps. Journal of Evolutionary Biology, 21: 1844–1851. doi: 10.1111/j.1420-9101.2008.01608.x
- Issue published online: 15 OCT 2008
- Article first published online: 22 SEP 2008
- Received 22 May 2008; revised 14 July 2008; accepted 16 July 2008
- cytonuclear genic incompatibility;
- hybrid breakdown;
- hybrid inviability;
- oxidative phosphorylation;
Male F2 hybrids of the wasps Nasonia giraulti and Nasonia vitripennis suffer increased mortality during development. Previous studies suggested that the mitochondria may play an important role in this pattern of hybrid breakdown. The mitochondrial genome encodes 13 polypeptides, which are integral subunits of the oxidative phosphorylation enzyme complexes I, III, IV and V. We show that the mitochondrial ATP production rate and the efficacy of the enzyme complexes I, III and IV, but not that of the completely nuclear-encoded complex II, are reduced in F2 hybrid males of N. giraulti and N. vitripennis. We hypothesize that nuclear–mitochondrial protein interactions in the oxidative phosphorylation pathway are disrupted in these hybrids, reducing energy generation capacity and potentially reducing hybrid fitness. Our results suggest that dysfunctional cytonuclear interactions could represent an under-appreciated post-zygotic isolation mechanism that, due to elevated evolutionary rates of mitochondrial genes, evolves very early in the speciation process.