Natural selection's fingerprint identified on fruit fly evolution

Researchers at the University of Rochester have produced compelling evidence of how the hand of natural selection caused one species of fruit fly to split into two more than 2 million years ago. The study, appearing in today's issue of Nature, answers one of evolutionary biologists' most basic questions--how do species divide--by looking at the very DNA responsible for the division. Understanding why certain genes evolve the way they do during speciation can shed light on some of the least understood aspects of evolution.

"The study of speciation has a reputation for wild speculation because every time we find a curious genetic element, we suspect it of causing speciation," says Daven Presgraves, lead author on the study and postdoctoral fellow at the University. "We know embarrassingly little about a core process in evolutionary biology, but now we've nailed down the exact sequence of a gene that we know was involved in keeping two species separated. We can see that it was natural selection that made the gene the way it is."

The study breaks ground in two ways: First, it's the first time that a gene known to be involved in speciation has had its DNA fully revealed.

Presgraves and colleagues found 20 regions that differed on the chromosomes of two species of fruit flies that were estimated to have diverged in evolution 2.5 million years ago--fairly recently in evolutionary terms. He then needed to find a gene in one of those regions that was responsible for preventing successful reproduction between the two species. If the species could reproduce, then they could swap genes back and forth and thus would not be truly separate species. Something would have to prevent the transfer of genes, and in the case of Presgraves' fruit flies, that something was the proclivity for hybrid larvae to die before maturing into adults.

He found his gene, called Nup 96, that always prevented a hybrid of the two species from living to reproduce, and he se

Contact: Jonathan Sherwood
University of Rochester

Page: 1 2 3

Related biology news :

1. Natural mineral locks up carbon dioxide
2. Naturalists of the Isthmus of Panama
3. Natural selection at work in genetic variation to taste
4. Natural, man-made mix promises biggest landscape plant growth
5. Natural enemies help scientists untangle tropical forest food webs
6. Natural killer cellers are made, not born
7. Natural selection in a nutshell
8. Natural fat compound may be basis for new class of drugs targeting obesity
9. Natural hormone could reverse heart damage
10. New biography details adventures of Fritz Muller, A Naturalist in Brazil
11. UC Riversides David Reznick receives 2003 E. O. Wilson Naturalist Award

Post Your Comments:

(Date:10/26/2015)... and LAS VEGAS , ... Nok Labs , an innovator in modern authentication and ... today announced the launch of its latest version of ... platform enabling organizations to use standards-based authentication that supports ... Nok S3 Authentication Suite is ideal for organizations deploying ...
(Date:10/23/2015)... California , October 23, 2015 ... (SMI) announce a mobile plug and play integration of ... real-world tasks SensoMotoric Instruments (SMI) present ... wearable solutions for eye tracking and physiological data registration. ... SMI Eye Tracking Glasses 2w and physiological ...
(Date:10/22/2015)... 2015 About fingerprint biometrics ... individual with the database to identify and verify an ... loop. Pattern-based algorithms are used to match an individual,s ... was introduced in 1986, which is being used by ... criminal. Technavio,s analysts forecast the global fingerprint ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:11/24/2015)... ... November 24, 2015 , ... The Academy of Model Aeronautics (AMA), ... MultiGP, also known as Multirotor Grand Prix, to represent the First–Person View (FPV) racing ... AMA members have embraced this type of racing and several new model aviation pilots ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... QUEBEC CITY , Nov. 24, 2015 /PRNewswire/ ... (the "Company") announced today that the remaining 11,000 ... Common Share Purchase Warrants (the "Series B Warrants") ... agreement were exercised on November 23, 2015, which ... Common Shares.  After giving effect to the issuance ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... ... November 24, 2015 , ... Creation Technologies would like ... to Deloitte's 2015 Technology Fast 500 list of the fastest growing companies in ... Class II medical device that speeds up orthodontic tooth movement by as much ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... INCLINE VILLAGE, Nev. , Nov. 24, 2015  PDL ... John P. McLaughlin , the company,s president and chief ... Piper Jaffray Healthcare Conference next week in New ... and will occur on Tuesday, December 1, 2015 at 9:30 ... and Presentations." Please connect to the website at least 15 ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
Cached News: