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Genetica. 2007 Oct;131(2):167-74. Epub 2006 Dec 29.

Quantitative genetics of speciation: additive and non-additive genetic differentiation between Drosophila madeirensis and Drosophila subobscura.

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Departamento de Biologia Animal, Centro de Biologia Ambiental, Faculdade de Ciências da Universidade de Lisboa, 1749-016, Lisbon, Portugal.


The role of dominance and epistasis in population divergence has been an issue of much debate ever since the neoDarwinian synthesis. One of the best ways to dissect the several genetic components affecting the genetic architecture of populations is line cross analysis. Here we present a study comparing generation means of several life history-traits in two closely related Drosophila species: Drosophila subobscura, D. madeirensis as well as their F1 and F2 hybrids. This study aims to determine the relative contributions of additive and non-additive genetic parameters to the differentiation of life-history traits between these two species. The results indicate that both negative dominance and epistatic effects are very important in the differentiation of most traits. We end with considerations about the relevance of these findings for the understanding of the role of non-additive effects in speciation.

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