Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Paper offers new insights into the genomics of speciation

11.05.2010
A new paper by a team of researchers led by University of Notre Dame biologist Jeffrey Feder could herald an important shift in thinking about the genomics of speciation.

Titled "Widespread genomic divergence during sympatric speciation," the paper appears in today's edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

The prevailing assumption among scientists about how the genomes of newly forming species should differ during the earliest stages of divergence with gene flow speciation is that it will be characterized by a few regions of strong differentiation, amidst a remainder of the genome that remains unaffected by natural selection and thus relatively undifferentiated. This analogy of "genomic islands of speciation" has come to dominate the evolutionary genetics community.

"The island concept has crystallized around an attractive hypothesis termed 'divergence hitchhiking,' in which selection on one or a few genomic regions drives speciation," Feder said.

In the new paper, Feder and his colleagues report experimental and genomic evidence that contrary to the prevailing assumption, speciation in the classic apple maggot fly system Rhagoletis pomonella involves genome-wide differentiation driven by natural selection.

"Our result in Rhagoletis conflicts with the current thinking about how the genomes of newly forming species could differ during the earliest stages of divergence-with-gene-flow speciation," Feder said. "Rather than finding just isolated 'genomic islands' of genetic divergence, we instead discovered 'continents' of divergence encompassing large swaths of the genome."

He points out that past work on the genomics of speciation lacked experimental data and thus may have been unable to detect genomic regions under weaker natural selection, establishing a view of speciation involving genetic divergence in just a few, isolated genomic islands.

Rhagoeitis pomonella fruit flies originally attacked the fruit of hawthorn trees. But about 150 years ago, a portion of the hawthorn fly population shifted and began to feed on apples. In ecologically adapting to apples as a new host plant, apple flies are becoming genetically distinct and reproductively isolated from hawthorn flies. Apple and hawthorn flies are therefore considered to represent "host races" in the early stages of actively diverging into species. As such, the apple and hawthorn races of Rhagoeitis pomonella provided Feder and his fellow researchers a unique opportunity to conduct a direct experimental test of the island versus continents hypotheses.

"This type of comprehensive data, particularly the experimental results, are missing from the bevy of genome scan studies performed in the last few years lending support to the island hypothesis," Feder said. "Without experimental data on responses to selection, these genome scan studies alone can be biased toward identifying isolated outer loci, supporting the island hypothesis.

"We foresee that as mass genotyping techniques continue to advance, it will be these types of inquires and questions that come to dominate the emerging field of population genomics and speciation. We hope our study offers a glimpse of what the future may look like."

The research was funded by the National Science Foundation and the United States Department of Agriculture.

Jeffrey L. Feder | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.nd.edu

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Newly designed molecule binds nitrogen
23.02.2018 | Julius-Maximilians-Universität Würzburg

nachricht Atomic Design by Water
23.02.2018 | Max-Planck-Institut für Eisenforschung GmbH

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Attoseconds break into atomic interior

A newly developed laser technology has enabled physicists in the Laboratory for Attosecond Physics (jointly run by LMU Munich and the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics) to generate attosecond bursts of high-energy photons of unprecedented intensity. This has made it possible to observe the interaction of multiple photons in a single such pulse with electrons in the inner orbital shell of an atom.

In order to observe the ultrafast electron motion in the inner shells of atoms with short light pulses, the pulses must not only be ultrashort, but very...

Im Focus: Good vibrations feel the force

A group of researchers led by Andrea Cavalleri at the Max Planck Institute for Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) in Hamburg has demonstrated a new method enabling precise measurements of the interatomic forces that hold crystalline solids together. The paper Probing the Interatomic Potential of Solids by Strong-Field Nonlinear Phononics, published online in Nature, explains how a terahertz-frequency laser pulse can drive very large deformations of the crystal.

By measuring the highly unusual atomic trajectories under extreme electromagnetic transients, the MPSD group could reconstruct how rigid the atomic bonds are...

Im Focus: Developing reliable quantum computers

International research team makes important step on the path to solving certification problems

Quantum computers may one day solve algorithmic problems which even the biggest supercomputers today can’t manage. But how do you test a quantum computer to...

Im Focus: In best circles: First integrated circuit from self-assembled polymer

For the first time, a team of researchers at the Max-Planck Institute (MPI) for Polymer Research in Mainz, Germany, has succeeded in making an integrated circuit (IC) from just a monolayer of a semiconducting polymer via a bottom-up, self-assembly approach.

In the self-assembly process, the semiconducting polymer arranges itself into an ordered monolayer in a transistor. The transistors are binary switches used...

Im Focus: Demonstration of a single molecule piezoelectric effect

Breakthrough provides a new concept of the design of molecular motors, sensors and electricity generators at nanoscale

Researchers from the Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry of the CAS (IOCB Prague), Institute of Physics of the CAS (IP CAS) and Palacký University...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

2nd International Conference on High Temperature Shape Memory Alloys (HTSMAs)

15.02.2018 | Event News

Aachen DC Grid Summit 2018

13.02.2018 | Event News

How Global Climate Policy Can Learn from the Energy Transition

12.02.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Basque researchers turn light upside down

23.02.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

Finnish research group discovers a new immune system regulator

23.02.2018 | Health and Medicine

Attoseconds break into atomic interior

23.02.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>