Chromosomal inversions and the reproductive isolation of species.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

Recent genetic studies have suggested that many genes contribute to differences between closely related species that prevent gene exchange, particularly hybrid male sterility and female species preferences. We have examined the genetic basis of hybrid sterility and female species preferences in Drosophila pseudoobscura and Drosophila persimilis, two occasionally hybridizing North American species. Contrary to findings in other species groups, very few regions of the genome were associated with these characters, and these regions are associated also with fixed arrangement differences (inversions) between these species. From our results, we propose a preliminary genic model whereby inversions may contribute to the speciation process, thereby explaining the abundance of arrangement differences between closely related species that co-occur geographically. We suggest that inversions create linkage groups that cause sterility to persist between hybridizing taxa. The maintenance of this sterility allows the species to persist in the face of gene flow longer than without such inversions, and natural selection will have a greater opportunity to decrease the frequency of interspecies matings.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Noor, MA; Grams, KL; Bertucci, LA; Reiland, J

Published Date

  • October 1, 2001

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 98 / 21

Start / End Page

  • 12084 - 12088

PubMed ID

  • 11593019

Pubmed Central ID

  • PMC59771

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1091-6490

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0027-8424

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1073/pnas.221274498


  • eng