Evolutionary Biology Online Journal Club


Season 2, Meeting 5: The Genetics of Speciation

On Monday the 1st of April, at 16:30 EST, we’ll be discussing some elements of the genetics involved in the speciation process between two flycatcher species (not an April Fool’s joke, I promise).

After the last meeting, I looked for papers that explained the genetics of speciation in a relatively simple and clear language, all the while focusing on one example. From this search comes the following review:

Saetre, G.-P., & Saetre, S. A. (2010). Ecology and genetics of speciation in Ficedula flycatchers. Molecular Ecology, 19, 1091-1106. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-294X.2010.04568.x

The authors first explain why the pied and collared flycatchers provide an interesting study model. Then, they go on to answering the question of “what is keeping them apart and how did such barriers evolve” (even though they do hybridize in some areas of their distribution) by describing the various genetic factors that reduce the gene flow between the two species.

As an optional read, here is a more recent paper, which was suggested by Rafael, on the genomic landscape of species divergence in the same birds:

Ellegren et al. [there’s just too darn many authors] (2012). Genomic landscape of species divergence in Ficedula flycatchers. Nature, 491, 756-760. doi:10.1038/nature11584

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