The co-evolutionary genetics of ecological communities

Nat Rev Genet. 2007 Mar;8(3):185-95. doi: 10.1038/nrg2031. Epub 2007 Feb 6.


Co-evolution has produced many intriguing adaptations and made significant contributions to biodiversity through the co-adaptive radiations of interacting groups, such as pollinating insects and flowering plants or hosts and endosymbionts. New methods from molecular genetics and comparative genomics, in conjunction with advances in evolutionary genetic theory, are for the first time providing tools for detecting, investigating and understanding the genetic bases of the co-adaptive process and co-speciation. Advances in the emerging field of community genetics, which integrates genetics and community ecology, could revolutionize how co-evolution is studied, how genes are functionally annotated and how conservation geneticists implement preservation strategies.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Physiological*
  • Animals
  • Ecosystem*
  • Evolution, Molecular*
  • Genetic Speciation*
  • Genomics / methods
  • Genomics / trends
  • Humans
  • Plants