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Am Nat. 1998 Nov;152(5):706-16. doi: 10.1086/286201.

On the evolution of premating isolation after a founder event.

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Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, Tennessee 37996-1300, USA.


We present a new simple model for the evolution of premating reproductive isolation. Using this model we first analyze the level of genetic variability maintained by mutation in a large stable population. Then we consider the plausibility of the evolution of strong premating reproductive isolation after a founder event. We demonstrate that after a founder event a new adaptive combination of genes may rise to high frequencies in the presence of an old combination of genes. We compare the probabilities of speciation after a founder event with those in a stable population and with those when reproductive isolation is due to viability selection against hybrids. We argue that premating reproductive isolation is more efficient than postmating reproductive isolation in maintaining the integrity of sympatric species. This might have contributed to the pattern of stronger premating isolation than postmating isolation between closely related pairs of sympatric species.

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