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Reinforcement shapes clines in female mate discrimination in Drosophila subquinaria.


ABSTRACT: Reinforcement of species boundaries may alter mate recognition in a way that also affects patterns of mate preference among conspecific populations. In the fly Drosophila subquinaria, females sympatric with the closely related species D. recens reject mating with heterospecific males as well as with conspecific males from allopatric populations. Here, we assess geographic variation in behavioral isolation within and among populations of D. subquinaria and use cline theory to understand patterns of selection on reinforced discrimination and its consequences for sexual isolation within species. We find that selection has fixed rejection of D. recens males in sympatry, while significant genetic variation in this behavior occurs within allopatric populations. In conspecific matings sexual isolation is also asymmetric and stronger in populations that are sympatric with D. recens. The clines in behavioral discrimination within and between species are similar in shape and are maintained by strong selection in the face of gene flow, and we show that some of their genetic basis may be either shared or linked. Thus, while reinforcement can drive extremely strong phenotypic divergence, the long-term consequences for incipient speciation depend on gene flow, genetic linkage of discrimination traits, and the cost of these behaviors in allopatry.

SUBMITTER: Bewick ER 

PROVIDER: S-EPMC4278409 | BioStudies | 2014-01-01

REPOSITORIES: biostudies

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