A Genomic Dissection of Natural Adaptation in Mate Recognition (2006–2011)
Although adaptation is a central issue in evolutionary biology, we know surprisingly little about the genetic changes underlying adaptive transitions. Among the different phenotypic traits which undergo adaptive evolution, those involved in mate recognition are of particular importance because small changes in mating signals can lead to reproductive isolation and ultimately speciation. Populations of the Australian fruit fly, Drosophila serrata undergo adaptive evolution in mate recognition when they occur with a closely related species D. birchii. Combining field studies, experimental evolution and genomic tools, I will dissect this evolutionary event to uncover the genetic processes responsible for this adaptive response.