Evolutionary experiments on mate recognition in the Drosophila serrata species complex

Genetica. 2002 Nov;116(2-3):239-50.


It is becoming increasingly apparent that at least some aspects of the evolution of mate recognition may be amenable to manipulation in evolutionary experiments. Quantitative genetic analyses that focus on the genetic consequences of evolutionary processes that result in mate recognition evolution may eventually provide an understanding of the genetic basis of the process of speciation. We review a series of experiments that have attempted to determine the genetic basis of the response to natural and sexual selection on mate recognition in the Drosophila serrata species complex. The genetic basis of mate recognition has been investigated at three levels: (1) between the species of D. serrata and D. birchii using interspecific hybrids, (2) between populations of D. serrata that are sympatric and allopatric with respect to D. birchii, and (3) within populations of D. serrata. These experiments suggest that it may be possible to use evolutionary experiments to observe important events such as the reinforcement of mate recognition, or the generation of the genetic associations that are central to many sexual selection models.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Biological Evolution*
  • Drosophila / genetics*
  • Female
  • Genetic Variation
  • Male
  • Selection, Genetic
  • Sexual Behavior, Animal*
  • Statistics, Nonparametric