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The University of Southampton
Biological Sciences

Genomic architecture and the dynamics of speciation Event

13:00 - 14:00
17 February 2015
University of Southampton Highfield Campus Life Sciences Building 85, Room 2207

For more information regarding this event, please telephone Kim Lipscombe on 02380597747 or email .

Event details

Natural selection can drive the repeated evolution of reproductive isolation, but the genomic basis of parallel speciation remains poorly understood. In this talk Patrik will present analyses of whole genome divergence between replicate pairs of stick insects populations that are adapted to different host plants and undergoing parallel speciation.

We find thousands of modest-sized genomic regions of accentuated divergence between populations, most of which are unique to individual population pairs. We also detect parallel genomic divergence across population pairs involving an excess of coding genes with specific molecular functions. Regions of parallel genomic divergence in nature exhibited exceptional allele frequency changes between hosts in a field transplant experiment. The results provide convergent observational and experimental evidence for selection’s role in driving repeatable genomic divergence. Patrik will conclude by presenting new results on ecological and genetic constraints on the speciation process.


  • The origin of new species can occur via natural selection, but the repeatability of this process remains poorly understood.
  • Populations of stick insects on different hosts have repeatedly evolved reproductive isolation, and in part this involves the repeated use of the same genomic regions.
  • Ecological and genomic factors can affect how far this process of 'parallel speciation' proceeds.

Speaker information

Dr Patrik Nosil,The University of Sheffield

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