Reproductive isolation in natural populations of Drosophila melanogaster from Brazzaville (Congo)

Genetica. 2002 Nov;116(2-3):215-24.


The aim of this work is to analyze the homogamy previously detected between two natural populations of Drosophila melanogaster from Brazzaville. It is shown that mating isolation was still maintained under laboratory conditions 10 years after the populations samples were trapped. Isolation seemed to be due mainly to premating isolation and we checked for any suggestion of post-mating mortality of hybrids. Pre-mating isolation was not symmetrical, and significant chi2 values were found in 3/4 possible 3-way mating choice experiments. The only exception involved a male from the countryside and two females (one from each population) for which no significant mating preference was detected. Mortality of hybrids was intermediate between those of the parental strains showing a clear maternal effect and the existence of partial dominance. Major differences in the cuticular hydrocarbons were also found and they could account for the isolation. These findings in populations from African breweries indicate that they are closely related to European ones, suggesting that this phenomenon is not a case of sympatric speciation, but probably attributable to the reintroduction of an allopatric population.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Congo
  • Drosophila melanogaster / chemistry
  • Drosophila melanogaster / genetics*
  • Hybridization, Genetic
  • Hydrocarbons / analysis
  • Hydrocarbons / chemistry
  • Sexual Behavior, Animal*
  • Species Specificity


  • Hydrocarbons