Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Ecological speciation by sexual selection on good genes

Date:
November 27, 2009
Source:
Santa Fe Institute
Summary:
Darwin suggested that the action of natural selection can produce new species, but 150 years after the publication of "On the Origin of Species" debate continues on the mechanisms of speciation. New research finds sexual selection to greatly enlarge the scope for adaptive speciation by triggering a positive feedback between mate choice and ecological diversification that can eventually eliminate gene flow between species.

Darwin suggested that the action of natural selection can produce new species, but 150 years after the publication of his famous book, On the Origin of Species, debate still continues on the mechanisms of speciation. New research finds sexual selection to greatly enlarge the scope for adaptive speciation by triggering a positive feedback between mate choice and ecological diversification that can eventually eliminate gene flow between species.

By means of a mathematical model, former postdoctoral fellow at the Santa Fe Institute and current postdoctoral fellow at the Institute of Ecology and Evolution at the University of Bern in Switzerland, Sander van Doorn and fellow colleagues demonstrate that disruptive ecological selection favors the evolution of sexual preferences for ornaments that signal local adaptation. Such preferences induce assortative mating with respect to ecological characters and enhance the strength of disruptive selection. The model predicts that species can split into specialized ecotypes without the divergence of mating preferences, avoiding problems that have plagued previous theoretical studies of speciation by sexual selection.

This research study examining the origin of species through ecological specialization and the simultaneous evolution of mating preferences for locally adapted mates will be published in the November 26, 2009 issue of Science.

Findings suggest natural and sexual selection can work in concert to achieve local adaptation and reproductive isolation, even in the presence of substantial gene flow. Future research involves the development of models to examine interactions between ecology and mate choice that could help to explain how diversity arises and how reproductive isolation between species evolves.

The ideas presented in the paper may soon be tested in the field in crossbill birds, sticklebacks and other species where biologists are currently investigating whether the attractiveness of mates does indeed reflect adaptation to the local environment.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Santa Fe Institute. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. G. Sander van Doorn, Pim Edelaar, and Franz. J. Weissing. On the Origin of Species by Natural and Sexual Selection. Science, 2009; DOI: 10.1126/science.1181661

Cite This Page:

Santa Fe Institute. "Ecological speciation by sexual selection on good genes." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 27 November 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/11/091126173031.htm>.
Santa Fe Institute. (2009, November 27). Ecological speciation by sexual selection on good genes. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 27, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/11/091126173031.htm
Santa Fe Institute. "Ecological speciation by sexual selection on good genes." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/11/091126173031.htm (accessed July 27, 2014).

Share This




More Fossils & Ruins News

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Did ISIS Destroy Jonah's Tomb?

Did ISIS Destroy Jonah's Tomb?

Newsy (July 25, 2014) Unverified footage posted to YouTube purportedly shows ISIS militants destroying a shrine widely believed to be the tomb of the prophet Jonah. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Richard III's Car Park Burial Site Opens to Public

Richard III's Car Park Burial Site Opens to Public

AFP (July 25, 2014) Visitors will be able to look down from a glass walkway on the grave of King Richard III when a new centre opens in the English cathedral city of Leicester, where the infamous hunchback was found under a car park in 2012. Duration: 00:35 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Mobile App Gives Tour of Battle of Atlanta Sites

Mobile App Gives Tour of Battle of Atlanta Sites

AP (July 25, 2014) Emory University's Center for Digital Scholarship has launched a self-guided mobile tour app to coincide with the 150th anniversary of the Civil War's Battle of Atlanta. (July 25) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Tyrannosaur Pack-Hunting Theory Aided By New Footprints

Tyrannosaur Pack-Hunting Theory Aided By New Footprints

Newsy (July 24, 2014) A new study claims a set of prehistoric T-Rex footprints supports the theory that the giant predators hunted in packs instead of alone. Video provided by Newsy
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