The effect of hybridization on dosage compensation in member species of the Anopheles gambiae species complex

Kevin C. Deitz*, Willem Takken, Michel A. Slotman

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


Dosage compensation has evolved in concert with Y-chromosome degeneration in many taxa that exhibit heterogametic sex chromosomes. Dosage compensation overcomes the biological challenge of a "half dose" of X chromosome gene transcripts in the heterogametic sex. The need to equalize gene expression of a hemizygous X with that of autosomes arises from the fact that the X chromosomes retain hundreds of functional genes that are actively transcribed in both sexes and interact with genes expressed on the autosomes. Sex determination and heterogametic sex chromosomes have evolved multiple times in Diptera, and in each case the genetic control of dosage compensation is tightly linked to sex determination. In the Anopheles gambiae species complex (Culicidae), maleness is conferred by the Y-chromosome gene Yob, which despite its conserved role between species is polymorphic in its copynumber between them. Previous work demonstrated that male An.gambiae s.s. males exhibit complete dosage compensation in pupal and adult stages. In the present study, we have extended this analysis to three sister species in the An. gambiae complex: An. coluzzii, An. arabiensis, and An. quadriannulatus. In addition, we analyzed dosage compensation in bi-directional F1 hybrids between these species to determine if hybridization results in the mis-regulation and disruption of dosage compensation. Our results confirm that dosage compensation operates in the An. gambiae species complex through the hypertranscription of the male X chromosome. Additionally, dosage compensation in hybrid males does not differ from parental males, indicating that hybridization does not result in the mis-regulation of dosage compensation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1663-1672
JournalGenome Biology and Evolution
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2018


  • Anopheles
  • Dosage compensation
  • Hybridization
  • RNAseq


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