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L’évolution à petite échelle

Abstract : Small-scale evolution or microevolution concerns evolution at the intra-specific level or between closely related species. At the intra-specific level, it allows the analysis of the evolutionary forces at work: mutation, genetic drift, migration and selection. Moreover, because of the short evolutionary time, it is easier to identify the genetic basis of observed phenotypic differences. Most studies focus on current populations but more and more analyses are performed on ancient DNA. This provides important information for tracing the history of populations and also allows the reconstruction of phenotypes of individuals that disappeared several thousand years ago. In this short review, I present studies showing how pre-zygotic or post-zygotic barriers involved in species formation are set up using the example of the geographical barrier due to the formation of the Isthmus of Panama and that of the heterochromatin divergence in Drosophilidae. I also describe the different approaches that have been used to identify the genetic basis of well known phenotypic variations: candidate gene approach (about melanism in felines), QTL mapping (variation in the number of lateral bone plates in sticklebacks), association study (pigmentation in the Asian ladybird). Finally, I illustrate the key impact of natural selection with the iconic example of the evolution of the beak of Galapagos finches, and the role of certain developmental genes in its morphological diversification.
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Contributor : Jean-Michel Gibert Connect in order to contact the contributor
Submitted on : Thursday, July 28, 2022 - 9:04:30 AM
Last modification on : Wednesday, August 3, 2022 - 3:58:40 AM


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Jean-Michel Gibert. L’évolution à petite échelle. Biologie Aujourd'hui, EDP sciences, 2022, 216 (1-2), pp.41-47. ⟨10.1051/jbio/2022008⟩. ⟨hal-03739655⟩



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