The genomic basis of adaptations, the differences between species, and the mechanisms of speciation

Credit: CC0 Public Domain

How do new species arise, and how quickly does this happen? Evolutionary biologist Professor Axel Meyer from the University of Konstanz and his team have come one decisive step closer to answering fundamental questions in biology. Upon evaluation of an extensive data set collected during extensive research on extremely young species of cichlids in crater lakes in Nicaragua, empirical evidence suggests that the evolutionary divergence of a population in the same geographical area into a new species is more likely to occur when many genes across the genome are involved in producing species-distinguishing characteristics. Additionally, new species can emerge within only a few hundred years This contradicts the hitherto established theory that speciation is a slow process and that ecologically important interspecies differences with simple, genetically locally limited architecture are more likely to result in the formation of a new species than those on a so-called

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