The contribution of the Y chromosome to hybrid male sterility in house mice

Polly Campbell, Jeffrey M. Good, Matthew D. Dean, Priscilla K. Tucker, Michael W. Nachman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


Hybrid sterility in the heterogametic sex is a common feature of speciation in animals. In house mice, the contribution of the Mus musculus musculus X chromosome to hybrid male sterility is large. It is not known, however, whether F1 male sterility is caused by X-Y or X-autosome incompatibilities or a combination of both. We investigated the contribution of the M. musculus domesticus Y chromosome to hybrid male sterility in a cross between wild-derived strains in which males with a M. m. musculus X chromosome and M. m. domesticus Y chromosome are partially sterile, while males from the reciprocal cross are reproductively normal. We used eight X introgression lines to combine different X chromosome genotypes with different Y chromosomes on an F1 autosomal background, and we measured a suite of male reproductive traits. Reproductive deficits were observed in most F1 males, regardless of Y chromosome genotype. Nonetheless, we found evidence for a negative interaction between the M. m. domesticus Y and an interval on the M. m. musculus X that resulted in abnormal sperm morphology. Therefore, although F1 male sterility appears to be caused mainly by Xautosome incompatibilities, X-Y incompatibilities contribute to some aspects of sterility.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1271-1281
Number of pages11
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 1 2012


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