Rapid Speciation: Evolutionary Importance of Demes!


(George Brooks) #1

A pretty exciting ABSTRACT !!!

Rapid speciation and chromosomal evolution in mammals
by G L Bush, S M Case, A C Wilson, and J L Patton

Abstract
To test the hypothesis that population subdivision into small demes promotes both rapid speciation and evolutionary changes in gene arrangement by inbreeding and drift, we estimated rates of speciation and rates of chromosomal evolution in 225 genera of vertebrates.

Rates of speciation were estimated by considering the number of living species in each genus and the fossil record of each genus as well as information about extinction rates. Speciation rate was strongly correlated with rate of chromosomal evolution and average rates of speciation in lower vertebrate genera were one-fifth those in mammalian genera.

Genera with high karyotypic diversity and rapid speciation rates may generally have small effective population size (Ne), whereas large Ne values may be associated with karyotypically uniform genera and slow rates of speciation.

Speciation and chromosomal evolution seem fastest in those genera with species organized into clans or harems (e.g., some primates and horses) or with limited adult vagility and juvenile dispersal, patchy distribution, and strong individual territoriality (e.g., some rodents). This is consistent with the above hypothesis regarding the evolutionary importance of demes.<

NOTE: A “deme” in the genetic sense is derived from the Greek word for “demos”, used to mean a “tribal area”. Similarly, a genetic deme is a relatively isolated territory of a given population/gene pool.


(system) #2

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