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Fly (Austin). 2009 Jan-Mar;3(1):10-4.

Phylogenetic taxonomy in Drosophila.

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University of California, Berkeley, Department of Environmental Science, Policy and Management, Berkeley, California 94720, USA.


The genus Drosophila is one of the best-studied model systems in modern biology, with twelve fully sequenced genomes available. In spite of the large number of genetic and genomic resources, little is known concerning the phylogenetic relationships, ecology and evolutionary history of all but a few species. Recent molecular systematic studies have shown that this genus is comprised of at least three independent lineages and that several other genera are actually imbedded within Drosophila. This genus accounts for over 2,000 described, and many more undescribed, species. While some Drosophila researchers are advocating dividing this genus into three or more separate genera, others favor maintaining Drosophila as a single large genus. With the recent sequencing of the genomes of multiple Drosophila species and their expanding use in comparative biology, it is critical that the Drosophila research community understands the taxonomic framework underlying the naming and relationships of these species. The subdivision of this genus has significant biological implications, ranging from the accurate annotation of single genes to understanding how ecological adaptations have occurred over the history of the group.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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