Category Archives: speciation

Extinct and extant Equus genomes reveal speciation with gene flow despite chromosome number variation

In their recent PNAS paper*, Hákon et al. generate full genome sequence data for each living species of asses and zebras, thus completing the set of genomes available for all extant species in the genus Equus (genomes for the donkey and … Continue reading

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Plastic and evolved responses to host fruit in apple maggot flies

The apple maggot fly, Rhagoletis pomonella, is a prominent system for the study of sympatric speciation. Sister taxa in the R. pomonella species complex, the apple-infesting race of R. pomonella and the snowberry-infesting R. zephyria, have sympatric distributions and the fruiting time of their preferred hosts widely overlaps. … Continue reading

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Haploid-diploidy, a (brief?) history

Haploid-diploid life cycles are not only good exercise for the brain, but they’re also fantastic study systems to investigate a myriad of questions. Yet, the majority of molecular studies have focused on the diploid-dominated life cycles of animal and plant … Continue reading

Posted in DNA barcoding, domestication, evolution, genomics, haploid-diploid, natural history, population genetics, selection, speciation | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Speciation by selection (and drift) in the sea

Marine systems challenge the view that speciation is the result of geographic isolation. Many marine taxa have large effective population sizes, which slows lineage sorting, larval dispersal phases that may extend for days, weeks, and sometimes months, potentially connecting far flung populations, … Continue reading

Posted in genomics, next generation sequencing, selection, speciation | Leave a comment

Just like an elephant and a manatee …

There is a positive correlation between the time since two lineages have diverged and the strength of the reproductive barriers between them. Rothfels et al. (2015) have described a natural hybridization event between two fern genera that diverged from one … Continue reading

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Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder

Many animals use visual signals to scope out potential mates. In a new paper in Molecular Ecology, Sandkam et al. (2015) demonstrate that the variation underlying preference in female guppies could be explained by simple changes in expression and coding of … Continue reading

Posted in Coevolution, evolution, Molecular Ecology, the journal, natural history, population genetics, speciation, Uncategorized | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Breaking free of the guide tree: two new species delimitation methods

A couple of weeks ago I wrote about a new method to incorporate morphology and DNA sequences into species delimitation. Including both data types improved the results but a couple of tricky spots remained: 1) correctly assigning individuals to putative species and 2) estimating … Continue reading

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Night at the museum

Many population genetic and genomic studies document snapshots of a given population’s genetic diversity. Yet, there are many reasons to document changes over time in population parameters in response to perturbations, such as biological invasions (both in terms of the invader … Continue reading

Posted in DNA barcoding, evolution, genomics, natural history, next generation sequencing, phylogenetics, population genetics, speciation, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Incorporating phenotype and genotype in model-based species delimitation

  Species are the fundamental unit of biology but identifying them is a challenging task that receives a lot of theoretical and empirical attention. In a recent Evolution paper, Solís‐Lemus et al. (2015) introduce a new model-based method that integrates phenotypic and genetic data … Continue reading

Posted in methods, speciation, species delimitation, theory | 1 Comment

Species and sensibility

Pante et al. (2014) performed a literature review of marine population connectivity in order to illustrate the biased estimates of connectivity which can result from the failure to recognize an evolutionary-relevant unit, such as a species. When exploring the connectivity … Continue reading

Posted in adaptation, community ecology, conservation, DNA barcoding, natural history, next generation sequencing, phylogenetics, population genetics, speciation, theory | 3 Comments