The Rate Of Evolution Of Postmating-Prezygotic Reproductive Isolation In Drosophila
Reproductive isolation (RI) is an intrinsic aspect of species, as described in the Biological Species Concept. For that reason, the identification of the precise traits and mechanisms of RI, and the rates at which they evolve, is crucial to understanding how species originate and persist. Nonetheless, precise measurements of the magnitude of reproductive isolation are rare. Previous work has measured the rates of evolution of prezygotic and postzygotic barriers to gene flow, yet no systematic analysis has carried out the study of the rates of evolution of postmating-prezygotic (PMPZ) barriers. We systematically measured the magnitude of two barriers to gene flow that act after mating occurs but before zygotic fertilization and also measured a premating (female mating rate in nonchoice experiments) and two postzygotic barriers (hybrid inviability and hybrid sterility) for all pairwise crosses of species within the Drosophila melanogaster subgroup. Our results indicate that PMPZ isolation evolves faster than hybrid inviability but slower than premating isolation. We also describe seven new interspecific hybrids in the group. Our findings open up a large repertoire of tools that will enable researchers to manipulate hybrids and explore the genetic basis of interspecific differentiation, reproductive isolation, and speciation.
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