Chromosomal rearrangements and the genetics of reproductive barriers in mimulus (monkey flowers)

Lila Fishman, Angela Stathos, Paul M. Beardsley, Charles F. Williams, Jeffrey P. Hill

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

97 Scopus citations


Chromosomal rearrangements may directly cause hybrid sterility and can facilitate speciation by preserving local adaptation in the face of gene flow. We used comparative linkage mapping with shared gene-based markers to identify potential chromosomal rearrangements between the sister monkeyflowers Mimulus lewisii and Mimulus cardinalis, which are textbook examples of ecological speciation. We then remapped quantitative trait loci (QTLs) for floral traits and flowering time (premating isolation) and hybrid sterility (postzygotic isolation). We identified three major regions of recombination suppression in the M. lewisii × M. cardinalis hybrid map compared to a relatively collinear Mimulus parishii × M. lewisii map, consistent with a reciprocal translocation and two inversions specific to M. cardinalis. These inferences were supported by targeted intraspecific mapping, which also implied a M. lewisii-specific reciprocal translocation causing chromosomal pseudo-linkage in both hybrid mapping populations. Floral QTLs mapped in this study, along with previously mapped adaptive QTLs, were clustered in putatively rearranged regions. All QTLs for male sterility, including two underdominant loci, mapped to regions of recombination suppression. We argue that chromosomal rearrangements may have played an important role in generating and consolidating barriers to gene flow as natural selection drove the dramatic ecological and morphological divergence of these species.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2547-2560
Number of pages14
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2013


  • Hybrid sterility
  • Inversion
  • Quantitative trait locus
  • Speciation
  • Translocation


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