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PLoS One. 2015 Oct 5;10(10):e0139494. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0139494. eCollection 2015.

Speciation Progress: A Case Study on the Bushcricket Poecilimon veluchianus.

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Department of Evolutionary Biology, Bielefeld University, Bielefeld, Germany.
Department of Chemical Ecology, Bielefeld University, Bielefeld, Germany.


Different mechanisms such as selection or genetic drift permitted e.g. by geographical isolation can lead to differentiation of populations and could cause subsequent speciation. The two subspecies of Poecilimon veluchianus, a bushcricket endemic to central Greece, show a parapatric distribution and are partially reproductively isolated. Therefore, P. veluchianus is suitable to investigate an ongoing speciation process. We based our analysis on sequences of the internal transcribed spacer (ITS) and the mitochondrial control region (CR). The population genetic analysis based on the nuclear marker ITS revealed a barrier to gene flow within the range of Poecilimon veluchianus, which corresponds well to the described subspecies. In contrast to the results based on the nuclear ITS marker, the mitochondrial CR marker does not clearly support the separation into two subspecies with restricted gene flow and a clear contact zone. Furthermore, we could identify isolation by distance (IBD) as one important mechanism responsible for the observed genetic structure (based on the ITS marker). The population genetic analysis based on the nuclear marker ITS also suggests the existence of hybrids in the wild. Furthermore, the simultaneous lack of strong prezygotic barriers and the presence of postzygotic mating barriers, observed in previous laboratory experiments, suggest that a secondary contact after an allopatric phase is more likely than parapatric speciation.

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