Mechanical incompatibility caused by modifications of multiple male genital structures using genomic introgression in Drosophila*

Kentaro M. Tanaka, Yoshitaka Kamimura, Aya Takahashi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)


Mechanical incompatibility of male and female genitalia is common in animals with internal fertilization. However, our knowledge regarding the precise mechanisms is limited. One key question regards the susceptibility of the match between male and female genitalia to morphological modification. To address this issue, we generated six different second-chromosome introgression lines possessing partially Drosophila mauritiana-like genital morphology in multiple structures in D. simulans background. Three of the six introgression males showed elevated mobility at some stages during copulation with D. simulans females; this was assumed to be an indication of genital mismatch. Notably, one of the introgression males with D. mauritiana-like enlarged anal plates showed occasional leakage of adhesive ejaculate on the body surface when mated with pure D. simulans females, suggesting apparent structural incompatibility in genital coupling. These observations suggested that both sexual and natural selection shape the anal plate morphology, highlighting the role of this structure as an important component of mechanical isolation. Partial replacement (introgression) by a sibling species genome can induce perturbations in genital coupling mechanics, suggesting that genital compatibility can be susceptible to subtle genomic changes at the early stages of divergence in these species.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2406-2418
Number of pages13
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 2018 Nov


  • Drosophila
  • male genital evolution
  • mating incompatibility

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Genetics
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)


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