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Evolution. 2003 Jun;57(6):1411-8.

Hybridization and postzygotic isolation patterns in pigeons and doves.

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División Ornitología, Museo Argentino de Ciencias Naturales Bernardino Rivadavia, Avenida Angel Gallardo 470 (CI405DJR), Buenos Aires, Argentina.


The study of the patterns of reproductive isolation in relation to species divergence is critical for the understanding of the process of speciation. Comparative analyses of this kind were previously conducted in Drosophila, Lepidoptera, frogs, ducks, and birds in general. In the present study, we used information from the literature to analyze hybrid inviability in relation to species divergence in pigeons and doves. Four main patterns arose from this analysis: (1) as in the other groups studied, F1 hybrid inviability gradually increases as species diverge, the time needed to reach total inviability being higher in birds than in the other groups; (2) as expected, the presence of geographic overlap does not influence the evolution of postzygotic isolation; (3) the percentage of unhatched eggs does not differ between hybrids of the first generation and the backcrosses, but it increases in the second hybrid generation; and (4) pigeons and doves follow Haldane's rule, as found in the other groups studied so far. The similarity between the results of this and previous studies contributes to the growing evidence suggesting that the patterns of the evolution of postzygotic isolation, and the process of speciation in general, are shared among animal groups.

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