Males are homogametic (ZZ) and females are heterogametic (WZ) with respect to the sex chromosomes in many species of butterflies and moths (insect order Lepidoptera). Genes on the Z chromosome influence traits involved in larval development, environmental adaptation, and reproductive isolation. To facilitate the investigation of these traits across Lepidoptera, we developed 43 degenerate primer pairs to PCR amplify orthologs of 43 Bombyx mori Z chromosome-linked genes. Of the 34 orthologs that amplified by PCR in Ostrinia nubilalis, 6 co-segregated with the Z chromosome anchor markers kettin (ket) and lactate dehydrogenase (ldh), and produced a consensus genetic linkage map of ~89 cM in combination with 5 AFLP markers. The O. nubilalis and B. mori Z chromosomes are comparatively co-linear, although potential gene inversions alter terminal gene orders and a translocation event disrupted synteny at one chromosome end. Compared to B. mori orthologs, O. nubilalis Z chromosome-linked genes showed conservation of tissue-specific and growth-stage-specific expression, although some genes exhibited species-specific expression across developmental stages or tissues. The O. nubilalis Z chromosome linkage map provides new tools for isolating quantitative trait loci (QTL) involved in sex-linked traits that drive speciation and it exposes genome rearrangements as a possible mechanism for differential gene regulation in Lepidoptera.
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/richard_hellmich/92/