Genomics | Evolutionary/Comparative Genetics
Why the association between interspecies divergence and inversions in Drosophila?
Evolution Ottawa 1st Joint Congress on Evolutionary Biology 2012, 6 - 10 Jul 2012, P000
Recombination maintains the cohesion of species, but limiting it, as by chromosomal inversions, may allow species to persist. Abundant evidence in Drosophila pseudoobscura and D. persimilis support this model. However, a recent simulation study suggested that the effects of chromosomal rearrangements can be transient and will be quantitative and not qualitative (Feder and Nosil 2009).
We explored a matching intra- and interspecies inversion difference, and found that the patterns differed dramatically. Within species, the effect of the inversion was highly localized to the interior breakpoint regions, whereas between species, the effect of the inversion extended across the entire inverted region and ~2.5 megabases outside.
From these results and knowing the very low interspecies hybridization rate, we infer that inversions can allow hybridizing species to persist if the hybridization rate is sufficiently low that gene exchange is negligible. This work highlights the importance of descriptive natural history in interpreting genomic sequence analyses.
No relevant competing interests disclosed.
National Institutes of Health (NIH), GM076051
National Institutes of Health (NIH), GM086445
National Science Foundation (NSF), DEB0715484
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