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Polymorphism at a sex-linked transcription cofactor in European tree frogs (Hyla arborea): Sex-antagonistic selection or neutral processes?
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Nascent sex chromosomes offer a unique opportunity to investigate the evolutionary fate of genesrecently trapped in non-recombining segments. A housekeeping gene (MED15) was recently shown to lie on the nascent sex-chromosomes of the European tree frog (Hyla arborea), with different alleles fixed on the X and the Y chromosomes. Here we document a polymorphism (glutamine deletion) in the X copy of the gene, and use population surveys and experimental crosses to test whether this polymorphism is neutral or maintained by sex-antagonistic selection. Tadpoles from parents of known genotypes revealed significant discrepancies from Mendelian inheritance, suggesting possible sex-antagonistic effects under laboratory conditions. Quantitatively, however, these effects did not meet the conditions for polymorphism maintenance. Furthermore, field estimates of female genotypic frequencies did not differ from Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium and allelic frequencies on the X chromosome did not differ between sexes. In conclusion, although sex antagonistic effects cannot be excluded given the laboratory conditions, the X-linked polymorphism under study appears neutral in the wild. Alternatively, sex-antagonistic selection might still account for the fixation of a male specific allele on the Y chromosome.
Amphibians, Hyla arborea, Glutamine repeats, Population genetics, Sex chromosomes, Transcription cofactor MED15
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