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Science. 2009 Oct 23;326(5952):540-4. doi: 10.1126/science.1176980.

Intraspecific polymorphism to interspecific divergence: genetics of pigmentation in Drosophila.

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Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI 48109, USA.


Genetic changes contributing to phenotypic differences within or between species have been identified for a handful of traits, but the relationship between alleles underlying intraspecific polymorphism and interspecific divergence is largely unknown. We found that noncoding changes in the tan gene, as well as changes linked to the ebony gene, contribute to pigmentation divergence between closely related Drosophila species. Moreover, we found that alleles linked to tan and ebony fixed in one Drosophila species also contribute to variation within another species, and that multiple genotypes underlie similar phenotypes even within the same population. These alleles appear to predate speciation, which suggests that standing genetic variation present in the common ancestor gave rise to both intraspecific polymorphism and interspecific divergence.

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