Genomic structure of incipient sympatric speciation revealed in the malaria mosquito

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Posted on 27 April 2015

The Tripet lab at Keele CAEP have published a groundbreaking new study in PLoS Genetics.

The evolution of new species from a single ancestral species within the same geographical region is fundamental to our understanding of biodiversity.  It is thought that sympatric speciation is only possible under a relatively narrow and unlikely set of genetic and ecological conditions.  In a groundbreaking study published in PLoS Genetics, researchers from the Tripet Lab in CAEP experimentally demonstrated the close association between conspecific recognition genes and the hemizygous pericentromeric region of the X chromosome in two sibling species of Anopheles gambiae, the main vector of malaria in Africa.  The study lends unprecedented support to theoretical models of sympatric divergence involving genomic islands of speciation protected by recombination suppression.