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Heredity (Edinb). 2000 Apr;84 ( Pt 4):468-75.

Sexual isolation of genetically differentiated sympatric populations of Drosophila melanogaster in Brazzaville, Congo: the first step towards speciation?

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Laboratoire Populations, Génétique et Evolution, CNRS, 91198 Gif/Yvette Cedex, France.


Two sympatric populations of Drosophila melanogaster were collected in the Brazzaville area in Congo, one from the suburban countryside and the other from a brewery located in the city. They were compared for several genetically determined traits including morphology, allozymes, microsatellites, cuticular hydrocarbons, and sexual behaviour. The two populations were similar to other African populations for morphological traits, but differed significantly from each other for all other characters. The countryside population resembled other African populations, whereas the urban population was consistently similar to European populations. Mating choice experiments showed incipient reproductive separation between the populations. In agreement with the hypothesis that D. melanogaster originated in Africa and spread to the rest of the world by invading human-modified habitats, we suggest that man-adapted fruit fly populations have returned 'back to Africa', and remained partially isolated from older native stocks.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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