A rare exception to Haldane's rule: are X chromosomes key to hybrid incompatibilities?

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The prevalence of Haldane’s rule suggests that sex chromosomes commonly have a key role in reproductive barriers and speciation. However, the majority of research on Haldane’s rule has been conducted in species with conventional sex determination systems (XY and ZW) and exceptions to the rule have been understudied. Here we test the role of X-linked incompatibilities in a rare exception to Haldane’s rule for female sterility in field cricket sister species (Teleogryllus oceanicus and T. commodus). Both have an XO sex determination system. Using three generations of crosses, we introgressed X chromosomes from each species onto different, mixed genomic backgrounds to test predictions about the fertility and viability of each cross type. We predicted that females with two different species X chromosomes would suffer reduced fertility and viability compared with females with two parental X chromosomes. However, we found no strong support for such X-linked incompatibilities. Our results preclude X–X incompatibilities and instead support an interchromosomal epistatic basis to hybrid female sterility. We discuss the broader implications of these findings, principally whether deviations from Haldane’s rule might be more prevalent in species without dimorphic sex chromosomes.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)554-562
Number of pages9
Issue number6
Early online date18 Jan 2017
Publication statusPublished - 2017


  • Sex chromosomes
  • Large X effect
  • Dominance
  • Female sterility
  • Teleogryllus


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