Genetic basis of sexual isolation in Drosophila melanogaster

Genetica. 2004 Mar;120(1-3):273-84. doi: 10.1023/b:gene.0000017649.51782.5b.


Sexual isolation between Zimbabwe (abbreviated as Z) and cosmopolitan (abbreviated as M) races exists in Drosophila melanogaster. Typically, when given a choice, the females from the Zimbabwe race mate only with males from the same race, whereas females from the cosmopolitan race mate readily with males from both races non-discriminatorily. Genetic tools available in this experimental organism permit the detail genetic analyses of the sexual isolation behavior. On the other hand, the search for the actual signaling systems involved in the mate recognition is still limited in this system. In this paper, we review the studies, which attempt to dissect the genetic basis of the sexual isolation system, and document the complex features of the genetic architecture and the behavioral traits that evolved at an incipient stage of speciation. The evolution and the maintenance of this behavioral polymorphism are also discussed.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Alleles
  • Animals
  • Chromosome Mapping
  • Drosophila melanogaster / genetics*
  • Female
  • Genes, Insect
  • Genotype
  • Male
  • Phenotype
  • Polymorphism, Genetic
  • Sexual Behavior, Animal*
  • Species Specificity