Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Salamanders spell out evolution in action

Date:
July 11, 2011
Source:
BioMed Central
Summary:
Lungless salamanders (Ensatina eschscholtzii) live in a horseshoe-shape region in California (a 'ring') which circles around the central valley. New research showed that reproductive isolation of E. eschscholtzii was driven by genetic divergence rather than adaption to different ecological habitats.

Lungless salamanders (Ensatina eschscholtzii) live in a horseshoe-shape region in California (a 'ring') which circles around the central valley. The species is an example of evolution in action because, while neighboring populations may be able to breed, the two populations at the ends of the arms of the horseshoe are effectively unable to reproduce.

New research published in BioMed Central's open access journal BMC Evolutionary Biology showed that this reproductive isolation was driven by genetic divergence rather than adaption to different ecological habitats.

Researchers used genetic variation to determine 20 distinct populations of salamanders and focused in detail at 13 zones where the populations were able to cross breed. Results showed that the diversification of salamander populations was associated with significant genetic divergence, both nuclear and mitochondrial, and also with strong ecological divergence, in the plants and climate within their habitats.

However the ability to cross-breed was only associated with nuclear divergence. At contact zones around the ring up to 75% of the salamanders were hybrids, including second generation and back crosses to the parental populations but at the ends of the ring only 5.7% were hybrids and all of these were first generation F1 hybrids which rarely reproduced.

Dr Pereira said, "Evidence from E. eschscholtzii shows that the ecological environment, which may drive species formation, does not necessarily drive reproductive isolation. Instead, reproductive isolation of this 'ring' species of salamanders appears to be due to processes such as length of time in geographic isolation which are related to overall genetic divergence."


Story Source:

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


Journal Reference:

  1. Ricardo J Pereira, William B Monahan and David B Wake. Predictors for reproductive isolation in a ring species complex following genetic and ecological divergence. BMC Evolutionary Biology, (in press) 2011 [link]

Cite This Page:

BioMed Central. "Salamanders spell out evolution in action." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 11 July 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/07/110705211022.htm>.
BioMed Central. (2011, July 11). Salamanders spell out evolution in action. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 31, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/07/110705211022.htm
BioMed Central. "Salamanders spell out evolution in action." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/07/110705211022.htm (accessed July 31, 2014).

Share This




More Plants & Animals News

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Raw: Thousands Flocking to German Crop Circle

Raw: Thousands Flocking to German Crop Circle

AP (July 30, 2014) Thousands of people are trekking to a Bavarian farmer's field to check out a mysterious set of crop circles. (July 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Concern Grows Over Worsening Ebola Crisis

Concern Grows Over Worsening Ebola Crisis

AFP (July 30, 2014) Pan-African airline ASKY has suspended all flights to and from the capitals of Liberia and Sierra Leone amid the worsening Ebola health crisis, which has so far caused 672 deaths in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. Duration: 00:43 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
At Least 20 Chikungunya Cases in New Jersey

At Least 20 Chikungunya Cases in New Jersey

AP (July 30, 2014) At least 20 New Jersey residents have tested positive for chikungunya, a mosquito-borne virus that has spread through the Caribbean. (July 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Xtreme Eating: Your Daily Caloric Intake All On One Plate

Xtreme Eating: Your Daily Caloric Intake All On One Plate

Newsy (July 30, 2014) The Center for Science in the Public Interest released its 2014 list of single meals with whopping calorie counts. 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