Chapter 24 Origin of Species

Darwin referred to the first

appearance of a new organism
on Earth as the “mystery of mysteries”. Today, the process by which one species splits into two or more species is called speciation.

Speciation forms a conceptual bridge between microevolution , changes over time in allele frequencies in a population, and macroevolution, the broad pattern of evolution over time.

fertile offspring with members of other such groups. species is a group of populations whose members have the potential to interbreed in nature. . fertile offspring – but do not produce viable. and produce viable.Biological Species Concept Simple definition = a species is one kind of organism As described by Ernst Mayr in 1942.

The formation of a new species hinges on reproductive isolation Reproductive Isolation is barriers that prevent members of two species from producing viable. . fertile offspring.

Reproductive Isolation Barriers block gene flow between the species and limit the formation of hybrids. offspring that result from interspecific mating .

What holds the gene pool of a species together even when they are divided up into separate populations? What if the populations are long distances apart? The answer is gene flow. . the transfer of alleles between populations.

Scott Edwards found one population had an allele that shared a recent common ancestor with alleles found in a different population. he reasoned that gene flow must have occurred. Do the data indicate gene flow occurred as the transfer of an allele from population A to B or the reverse? .If researcher.

Reproductive Barriers Prezygotic barriers = block fertilization = no zygote .

“high step” courtship display Mate in winter vs summer Water vs terrestrial Genitals not well matched .


.Reproductive Barriers Postzygotic barriers = after fertilization occurs and the zygote is formed.

Sperm cannot fertilize egg Incomplete development of hybrids Viable & fertile hybrids produce small. sterile offspring in next generation Donkey + horse = sterile mule .

Limitations of the Biological Species Concept • Can not be applied to Fossils • Can not be applied to organisms that reproduce asexually Species = populations whose members have the potential to interbreed in nature. fertile offspring . and produce viable.

the sum of how members of the species interact with the nonliving and living parts of their environment Phylogenetic Species concept = defines a species as the smallest group of individuals that share a common ancestor.Other Definitions of Species Morphological Species concept = species have common body shape and other structural features Actually the way most species are distinguished Ecological Species concept = views a species in terms of its ecological niche. forming one branch on the tree of life. More than 20 other species definitions have been proposed .

Speciation can occur in two main ways. Allopatric (other country) Speciation Sympatric (same country) Speciation .

the separated gene pools may diverge through normal mechanisms. • Different mutations arise • Natural selection acts on the separated organisms • Genetic drift alters allele frequency .Allopatric Speciation Allopatric Speciation occurs when gene flow is interrupted when a population is divided into geographically isolated subpopulations Once geographic isolation has occurred.

Allopatric Speciation Geographic isolation leads to reproductive isolation. . Reproductive isolation may arise as a byproduct of selection or drift having caused the populations to diverge genetically. This isolation must result from barriers that would prevent reproduction even if the different populations come in contact with each other.

Harris’s antelope squirrel inhabits the south rim and white-tailed antelope squirrels live on the north rim. Would birds that live in this area be likely to diverge into new species? .Allopatric speciation of antelope squirrels on opposite rims of the Grand Canyon.


After 40 generations natural selection resulted in divergent evolution Flies raised on starch digested it better and flies raised on maltose digested maltose better .

Gene flow can be reduced by. • Polyploidy • Habitat differentiation • Sexual selection .Sympatric Speciation Sympatric Speciation occurs in populations that live in the same geographic area.

.Polyploidy Polyploidy is a condition of having extra sets of chromosomes due to a mistake during cell division.

Sometimes a fertile polyploid may develop and since these polyploids are only fertile when mating with each other.Second type of polyploidy can occur when two different species interbreed and produce hybrid offspring. . they represent a new species. Usually sterile because chromosomes can’t pair during meiosis.

. Estimates are that about 80% of Earth’s plant species are the result of polyploid speciation.Polyploid speciation rarely occurs in animals. but it is common in plants.

000 years? . How did so many different cichlid fish (up to 600 species) originate in Lake Victoria in East Africa over a period of only about 100.Sexual selection Sympatric speciation may be driven by sexual selection.

The resulting hybrids were viable and fertile . Under monochromatic orange light the two species are very similar in color. Under orange light females showed no preference in mating.Does sexual selection in cichlids result in reproductive isolation? Under normal light female cichlids strongly preferred males of their own species.

. like between firebellied and yellow-bellied toad ranges. producing at least some offspring of mixed ancestry.Hybrid zones Hybrid zones are regions where members of different species meet and mate. Some hybrid zones are narrow bands.

Yellow-bellied toad alleles .

Three possible outcomes for hybrid zone over time .

1) Reinforcement: Strengthening Reproductive Barriers Example: Two species of European flycatcher In sympatric populations (potential for hybrid zone) females are super good at telling males of each species apart In allopatric populations ?? .

May be happening in Lake Victoria.2) Fusion: Weakening Reproductive Barriers Fusion occurs when reproductive barriers are so weak that gene flow is common between gene pools and eventually may lead to a new species forming. . where mate choice has kept many of the similar species of cichlids reproductively isolated.

overwhelming selection for isolation within the zone. Perhaps the narrowness allows more gene flow from outside the zone. since the hybrids were at a disadvantage why hasn’t reinforcement occurred.3) Stability: Continued Formation of Hybrid Individuals Remember the Bombina toads. with strengthened barriers? In over 20 years of study no evidence of reinforcement. .

.Speciation can occur rapidly or slowly and can result from changes in few or many genes.

Time between speciation events = time from formation of a new species until it begins to diverge into more than one species.000 years.5 million and rarely took less than 500. plus the time it takes for speciation to be complete once divergence has begun. = Time elapsed between New species #1 created until New species #2 created Survey of 84 plants and animals showed the interval ranged from 4.000 to 40 million years. The average was 6. .

. In some Japanese snails a single gene controls the direction the shells spiral. When their shells spiral in opposite directions the snails genitals are oriented in a manner that prevents mating.Genetics of Speciation Evolution of as little as one gene can cause reproductive isolation.

Bornean clouded leopard .Studies have shown that a very few genes or many genes can influence the evolution of reproductive isolation and the emergence of a new species.

Sign up to vote on this title
UsefulNot useful