Evolution of reproductive morphology among recently diverged taxa in the Drosophila mojavensis species cluster

Division of Biological Sciences, Section of Cell and Developmental Biology, University of California San Diego, La Jolla, California 92093.
Ecology and Evolution (Impact Factor: 2.32). 02/2012; 2(2):397-408. DOI: 10.1002/ece3.93
Source: PubMed


The morphological evolution of sexual traits informs studies of speciation due to the potential role of these characters in reproductive isolation. In the current study, we quantified and compared genitalic variation within the Drosophila mojavensis species cluster to infer the mode of evolution of the male aedeagus. This system is ideal for such studies due to the opportunity to test and compare levels of variation along a divergence continuum at various taxonomic levels within the group. Shape variation was quantified using elliptic Fourier descriptors and compared among the four D. mojavensis host races, and between D. mojavensis and its sister species Drosophila arizonae. Aedeagus shape was diagnostic for D. arizonae, and among three of the four D. mojavensis subspecies. In each of these cases, there was less variation within subspecies than among subspecies, which is consistent with the pattern predicted if genitalia are evolving according to a punctuated change model, and are involved with mate recognition. However, aedeagus shape in Drosophila mojavensis sonorensis was highly variable and broadly overlapping with the other three subspecies, suggesting aedeagus evolution in this subspecies is more complex and subject to additional evolutionary factors. These results are interpreted and discussed in the context of selection on mate recognition systems and the potential for failed copulation.

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Available from: Maxi Polihronakis Richmond, Oct 10, 2015
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    • "Studies involving members of the repleta group have shown that females have high FRRs (Markow 1996; Bundgaard & Barker 2000; Good et al. 2006) and extremely rapid evolutionary rates of some reproductive tract proteins (Wagstaff & Begun 2005; Kelleher et al. 2011). In addition, it has been established that male genital morphology exhibits rapid adaptive evolution in Drosophila mojavensis (Richmond et al. 2012) and Drosophila buzzatii (Soto et al. 2013). Recently, Hurtado & Hasson (2013) found that female latency to remating is 14 times shorter in D. buzzatii than in D. koepferae, which suggests that female remating frequency and SC opportunities are quite higher in D. buzzatii. "
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