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Speciation genetics: Limits and promises

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Many central questions on speciation genetics such as the nature of genetic changes involved and the role of selection in speciation have been under prolonged and intense debate. The development of massively parallel sequencing and increased cooperation among ecological, population and molecular geneticists, offer the promise to find answers to these questions. However, there currently is evidence for the involvement of many different factors and processes in speciation, with their relative importance unresolved. Processes implicated in speciation include not only geographic isolation and structural change through small-effect mutations, but also regulatory mutations, copy number variation and chromosomal rearrangements, as well as scenarios of divergence-with-gene-flow and evolution through genetic conflict. In this review, I summarize current views and persistent limitations in speciation genetics, explore two promising research approaches in this field and end with an overview on current and expected progress in plant speciation genetics.


Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2010-10-01

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