" Evaluating the fitness of hybrids can provide important insights into genetic differences between species or diverging populations. We focused on surface- and cave-ecotypes of the widespread Atlantic molly Poecilia mexicana and raised F1 hybrids of reciprocal crosses to sexual maturity in a common-garden experiment. Hybrids were reared in a fully factorial 2x2 design consisting of lighting (light vs. darkness) and resource availability (high vs. low food). We quantified survival, ability to realize their full reproductive potential (i.e., completed maturation for males and three consecutive births for females) and essential life-history traits. Compared to the performance of pure cave and surface fish from a previous experiment (Riesch et al. 2011, 2016), F1s had the highest death rate and the lowest proportion of fish that reached their full reproductive potential. We also uncovered an intriguing pattern of sex-specific phenotype expression, because male hybrids expressed cave molly life histories, while female hybrids expressed surface molly life histories. Our results provide evidence for strong selection against hybrids in the cave molly system, but also suggest a complex pattern of sex-specific (opposing) dominance, with certain surface molly genes being dominant in female hybrids and certain cave molly genes being dominant in male hybrids "
Classification: Physiology and diseases.
Reference in bibliography for species (1)
Rüdiger, Riesch & Luis R. Arriaga, Ingo Schlupp. 2023. "Sex-specific life-history trait expression in hybrids of a cave- and surface-dwelling fish (Poecilia mexicana, Poeciliidae)". Current Zoology. DOI: 10.1093/cz/zoad018 (ffm01227) (abstract)