Molecular Biological Mechanisms of Speciation

Science  08 Apr 1983:
Vol. 220, Issue 4593, pp. 157-162
DOI: 10.1126/science.220.4593.157


Growing recognition that much of the evolutionary history of eukaryotic genomes reflects the operation of turnover processes involving repetitive DNA sequences has led to the recent formulation of models describing speciation as a consequence of such turnover. These models are of three general kinds: those attributing hybrid infertility to the process of transposition, those attributing hybrid infertility to mispairing between chromosomes of divergent repetitive DNA composition, and those assuming that change in repetitive DNA's can reset coordinated gene regulation. These models are discussed with respect to the kinds of evidence needed for their corroboration and to their significance for questions related to macroevolutionary punctuated equilibria and genetic revolutions.