Divergence of mate recognition behavior and its consequences for genetic architectures of speciation

Am Nat. 2002 Mar;159 Suppl 3:S61-75. doi: 10.1086/338373.


The divergence of premating behavior and morphology plays a primary role in speciation, and an understanding of the genetic architectures of these phenotypes is essential for the evaluation of models of the speciation process. However, our empirical knowledge of the genetics underlying speciation-related traits remains limited. In this article, we argue that a dissection of specific aspects of the genetic architecture of such traits in a comparative context can allow us to rule out some mechanisms of divergence. We discuss these ideas with reference to our investigation of intersexual communication behaviors involved in mate recognition in the Hawaiian cricket genus Laupala. Different species of Laupala sing distinctively and show species-specific acoustic preferences. We focus on the sister species Laupala paranigra and Laupala kohalensis, characterized by differences in these classic courtship phenotypes. We discuss our preliminary results on the directionality of effect of substituted alleles underlying these species differences. We then discuss these results in the context of historical inference, a necessary perspective for testing the genomic predictions made by theories of speciation that focus on evolution of mate recognition systems.