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Patterns of Speciation in Drosophila

Jerry A. Coyne and H. Allen Orr
Evolution
Vol. 43, No. 2 (Mar., 1989), pp. 362-381
DOI: 10.2307/2409213
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2409213
Page Count: 20
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Patterns of Speciation in Drosophila
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Abstract

To investigate the time course of speciation, we gathered literature data on 119 pairs of closely related Drosophila species with known genetic distances, mating discrimination, strength of hybrid sterility and inviability, and geographic ranges. Because genetic distance is correlated with divergence time, these data provide a cross-section of taxa at different stages of speciation. Mating discrimination and the sterility or inviability of hybrids increase gradually with time. Hybrid sterility and inviability evolve at similar rates. Among allopatric species, mating discrimination and postzygotic isolation evolve at comparable rates, but among sympatric species strong mating discrimination appears well before severe sterility or inviability. This suggests that prezygotic reproductive isolation may be reinforced when allopatric taxa become sympatric. Analysis of the evolution of postzygotic isolation shows that recently diverged taxa usually produce sterile or inviable male but not female hybrids. Moreover, there is a large temporal gap between the evolution of male-limited and female hybrid sterility or inviability. This gap, which is predicted by recent theories about the genetics of speciation, explains the overwhelming preponderance of hybridizations yielding male-limited hybrid sterility or inviability (Haldane's rule).

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