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Review
, 103 (6), 439-44

Islands of Speciation or Mirages in the Desert? Examining the Role of Restricted Recombination in Maintaining Species

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Review

Islands of Speciation or Mirages in the Desert? Examining the Role of Restricted Recombination in Maintaining Species

M A F Noor et al. Heredity (Edinb).

Erratum in

  • Heredity. 2010 Apr;104(4):418

Abstract

Over the past decade, many studies documented high genetic divergence between closely related species in genomic regions experiencing restricted recombination in hybrids, such as within chromosomal rearrangements or areas adjacent to centromeres. Such regions have been called 'islands of speciation' because of their presumed role in maintaining the integrity of species despite gene flow elsewhere in the genome. Here, we review alternative explanations for such patterns. Segregation of ancestral variation or artifacts of nucleotide diversity within species can readily lead to higher F(ST) in regions of restricted recombination than other parts of the genome, even in the complete absence of interspecies gene flow, and thereby cause investigators to erroneously conclude that islands of speciation exist. We conclude by discussing strengths and weaknesses of various means for testing the role of restricted recombination in maintaining species.

Figures

Figure 1
Figure 1
Da and Dxy in low and high recombination regions between races of the Anopheles gambiae X-chromosome. The same loci are datapoints in both the Da and Dxy plots, and error bars indicate standard errors.

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