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J Evol Biol. 2009 Feb;22(2):430-4. doi: 10.1111/j.1420-9101.2008.01649.x. Epub 2008 Nov 15.

Egg size, embryonic development time and ovoviviparity in Drosophila species.

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Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ, USA.


Lengths, widths and volumes of eggs from 11 species of Drosophila whose genomes have been fully sequenced exhibit significant variation that is not explained by their phylogenetic relationships. Furthermore, egg size differences are unrelated to embryonic development time in these species. In addition, two of the species, Drosophila sechellia and, to a lesser degree, D. yakuba, both ecological specialists, exhibit ovoviviparity, suggesting that female control over oviposition in these species differs from what is observed in D. melanogaster. The interspecific differences in these reproductive characters, coupled with the availability of whole genome sequences for each, provide an unprecedented opportunity to examine their evolution.

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