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Genes from the father facilitate the formation of new species
Date:10/5/2007

nes located on the sex chromosome, says Anna Qvarnstrm.

In birds, in contrast with most other animals, it is the females that are the so-called heterogametic sex. Their sex chromosomes are called ZW and correspond to XY in humans. In birds, it is the female that is ZW and the male ZZ, but in humans men are XY and women XX. The results show that the preference for their own species is sited on the sex chromosome that the females inherit from their father. The same chromosome also houses the genes that govern the development of the species-specific plumage.

When genes regulate species-specific features and the preference for these are located close to each other in the DNA, in this case on the same chromosome, species formation is favored. Therefore, the probability of these two flycatcher species merging into the same species again is small, says Anna Qvarnstrm.

It is possible that this will prove to be a general pattern that can explain how new species can continue to exist even if they occasionally hybridize with each other.


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Contact: Anna Qvarnstrm
Anna.Qvarnstrom@ebc.uu.se
46-070-425-0805
Uppsala University
Source:Eurekalert

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