Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

A Gene That Keeps Species Apart

Date:
June 16, 2004
Source:
Public Library Of Science
Summary:
Nearly 150 years after Darwin published On the Origin of Species, biologists are still debating how new species emerge from old--and even the definition of species itself. Darwin demurred from offering a hard and fast definition, suggesting that such a thing was "undiscoverable."

Nearly 150 years after Darwin published On the Origin of Species, biologists are still debating how new species emerge from old--and even the definition of species itself. Darwin demurred from offering a hard and fast definition, suggesting that such a thing was "undiscoverable."

In this issue of PLoS Biology, Daniel Barbash and colleagues identify a true speciation gene in the fruitfly Drosophila.

One of the more enduring definitions characterizes organisms as distinct reproductive units and species as groups of individuals that can interbreed and produce viable, fertile offspring. The lack of genetic exchange between species, called reproductive isolation, lies at the heart of this definition.

At the heart of reproductive isolation is a phenomenon called hybrid incompatibility, in which closely related species are capable of mating but produce inviable or sterile offspring.

The classic example of hybrid incompatibility is the male donkeyfemale horse cross, which yields a sterile mule, but many other cases have been documented among mammals, and thousands of plant crosses produce infertile offspring.

To elucidate the molecular mechanisms of reproductive isolation, biologists must first identify candidate hybrid incompatibility genes.

Species- or lineage- specific functional divergence is an essential trait of these genes. (That is, the genes evolve different functions after the species diverge from their common ancestor.) While several such candidate genes have been identified in the fruitfly Drosophila melanogaster, none has been shown to display this functional divergence.

Now, working with D. melanogaster and its sibling species D. simulans and D. mauritiana, Daniel Barbash, Philip Awadalla, and Aaron Tarone establish the functional divergence of a candidate hybrid compatibility gene and confirm its status as a true speciation gene.

###

Citation: Barbash DA, Awadalla P, Tarone AM (2004) Functional divergence caused by ancient positive selection of a Drosophila hybrid incompatibility locus. PLoS Biol 2(6):e142. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pbio.0020142.

The published articles will be accessible to your readers at: http://www.plosbiology.org/plosonline/?request=get-document&doi=10.1371/journal.pbio.0020142.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Public Library Of Science. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Public Library Of Science. "A Gene That Keeps Species Apart." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 16 June 2004. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/06/040616065243.htm>.
Public Library Of Science. (2004, June 16). A Gene That Keeps Species Apart. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 18, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/06/040616065243.htm
Public Library Of Science. "A Gene That Keeps Species Apart." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/06/040616065243.htm (accessed April 18, 2014).

Share This



More Plants & Animals News

Friday, April 18, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Vermont Goat Meat Gives Refugees Taste of Home

Vermont Goat Meat Gives Refugees Taste of Home

AP (Apr. 18, 2014) Dairy farmers and ethnic groups in Vermont are both benefiting from a unique collaborative effort that's feeding a growing need for fresh and affordable goat meat. (April 18) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
The Great British Farmland Boom

The Great British Farmland Boom

Reuters - Business Video Online (Apr. 17, 2014) Britain's troubled Co-operative Group is preparing to cash in on nearly 18,000 acres of farmland in one of the biggest UK land sales in decades. As Ivor Bennett reports, the market timing couldn't be better, with farmland prices soaring over 270 percent in the last 10 years. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Flamingo Frenzy Ahead of Zoo Construction

Flamingo Frenzy Ahead of Zoo Construction

AP (Apr. 17, 2014) With plenty of honking, flapping, and fluttering, more than three dozen Caribbean flamingos at Zoo Miami were rounded up today as the iconic exhibit was closed for renovations. (April 17) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Change of Diet Helps Crocodile Business

Change of Diet Helps Crocodile Business

Reuters - Business Video Online (Apr. 16, 2014) Crocodile farming has been a challenge in Zimbabwe in recent years do the economic collapse and the financial crisis. But as Ciara Sutton reports one of Europe's biggest suppliers of skins to the luxury market has come up with an unusual survival strategy - vegetarian food. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins