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Genetica. 2010 Apr;138(4):409-18. doi: 10.1007/s10709-008-9321-3. Epub 2008 Sep 6.

Population genomics and speciation.

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Department of Animal and Plant Sciences, The University of Sheffield, Western Bank, Sheffield S10 2TN, UK,


The process of speciation begins with genomically-localised barriers to gene exchange associated with loci for local adaptation, intrinsic incompatibility or assortative mating. The barrier then spreads until reproductive isolation influences the whole genome. The population genomics approach can be used to identify regions of reduced gene flow by detecting loci with greater differentiation than expected from the average across many loci. Recently, this approach has been used in several systems. I review these studies, concentrating on the robustness of the approach and the methods available to go beyond the simple identification of differentiated markers. Population genomics has already contributed significantly to understanding the balance between gene flow and selection during the evolution of reproductive isolation and has great future potential both in genome species and in non-model organisms.

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