Imperial College London


Faculty of Natural SciencesDepartment of Life Sciences

Honorary Senior Lecturer







Mrs Lucy Collyns +44 (0)20 7594 5395




Sir Alexander Fleming BuildingSouth Kensington Campus






BibTex format

author = {Bernardini, F and Galizi, R and Wunderlich, M and Taxiarchi, C and Kranjc, N and Kyrou, K and Hammond, A and Nolan, T and Lawniczak, M and Papathanos, PA and Crisanti, A and Windbichler, N},
doi = {10.1101/151894},
journal = {Genetics: a periodical record of investigations bearing on heredity and variation},
title = {Cross-species Y chromosome function between malaria vectors of the Anopheles gambiae species complex},
url = {},
year = {2017}

RIS format (EndNote, RefMan)

AB - Abstract Y chromosome function, structure and evolution is poorly understood in many species including the Anopheles genus of mosquitoes, an emerging model system for studying speciation that also represents the major vectors of malaria. While the Anopheline Y had previously been implicated in male mating behavior, recent data from the Anopheles gambiae complex suggests that, apart from the putative primary sex-determiner, no other genes are conserved on the Y. Studying the functional basis of the evolutionary divergence of the Y chromosome in the gambiae complex is complicated by complete F1 male hybrid sterility. Here we used an F1xF0 crossing scheme to overcome a severe bottleneck of male hybrid incompatibilities and enabled us to experimentally purify a genetically labelled A. gambiae Y chromosome in an A. arabiensis background. Whole genome sequencing confirmed that the A. gambiae Y retained its original sequence content in the A. arabiensis genomic background. In contrast to comparable experiments in Drosophila , we find that the presence of a heterospecific Y chromosome has no significant effect on the expression of A. arabiensis genes and transcriptional differences can be explained almost exclusively as a direct consequence of transcripts arising from sequence elements present on the A. gambiae Y chromosome itself. We find that Y hybrids show no obvious fertility defects and no substantial reduction in male competitiveness. Our results demonstrate that, despite their radically different structure, Y chromosomes of these two species of the gambiae complex that diverged an estimated 1.85Myr ago function interchangeably, thus indicating that the Y chromosome does not harbor loci contributing to hybrid incompatibility. Therefore, Y chromosome gene flow between members of the gambiae complex is possible even at their current level of divergence. Importantly, this also suggests that malaria control interventions based on sex-distorting Y drive would be transferab
AU - Bernardini,F
AU - Galizi,R
AU - Wunderlich,M
AU - Taxiarchi,C
AU - Kranjc,N
AU - Kyrou,K
AU - Hammond,A
AU - Nolan,T
AU - Lawniczak,M
AU - Papathanos,PA
AU - Crisanti,A
AU - Windbichler,N
DO - 10.1101/151894
PY - 2017///
SN - 0016-6731
TI - Cross-species Y chromosome function between malaria vectors of the Anopheles gambiae species complex
T2 - Genetics: a periodical record of investigations bearing on heredity and variation
UR -
ER -