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Haldane's Rule and Darwin's Corollary to Haldane's Rule are the observations that heterogametic F1 hybrids frequently are less fit than their homogametic siblings and that asymmetric results often are obtained from reciprocal hybrid crosses. In Caenorhabditis, Haldane's Rule and Darwin's Corollary have been observed in several hybrid crosses, including crosses of Caenorhabditis briggsae and Caenorhabditis nigoni. Fertile F1 females are obtained from reciprocal crosses. However, F1 males obtained from C. nigoni mothers are sterile and F1 males obtained from C. briggsae die during embryogenesis. We have identified cbr-him-8 as a recessive maternal-effect suppressor of F1 hybrid male-specific lethality in this combination of species. This result implicates epigenetic meiotic silencing in the suppression of F1 male-specific lethality. It also is shown that F1 males bearing a C. briggsae X chromosome are fertile. When crossed to C. briggsae hermaphrodites or F1 females derived from C. briggsae hermaphrodites, viable F2 and backcross (B2) progeny were obtained. Sibling males that possessed a C. nigoni X chromosome were sterile. Therefore, the sterility of F1 males bearing a C. nigoni X chromosome must result from dysgenic interactions between the X chromosome of C. nigoni and the autosomes of C. briggsae. The fertility of F1 males bearing a C. briggsae X chromosome provides an opportunity to identify C. nigoni loci that prevent spermatogenesis, and hence hermaphroditic reproduction, in diplo-X hybrids.


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