My short intro to the genetics of speciation

July 11, 2018 • 2:45 pm

UPDATE: If you want a pdf of my article, which seems to be behind a paywall, just inquire judiciously.



The journal Molecular Ecology is producing a special issue on “Sex chromosomes and speciation”, which will contain about 17 papers. Some of these have already been published online, and though there’s not yet a central link, some of the papers are here.

Since my lab more or less kickstarted the area by reviving interest in Haldane’s Rule and its probable cause by sex-chromosome evolution (see the paper for an explanation), I was asked to write a personal and historical introduction to the field to open the issue. My short paper can be seen by clicking on the screenshot below, which will lead you to a pdf of the manuscript—very close to the version that will be published.

I tried to write this paper so it would be accessible to not only general biologists, but also laypeople who are scientifically interested and a bit informed about evolution. I don’t know if I’ve succeeded, but, like Maru, I do my best.

This may be the next-to-last scientific paper I’ll ever publish, although it’s a short review rather than a data paper. However, a few colleagues and I are writing what may be the last real paper I’ll publish, chock full of data and, if I do say so myself, a nice piece of work. I think it’s a good way to go out. It’s been in the works for about a decade, since it took a long time to do all the morphological analyses and DNA sequencing, but I’ll say more about that later.

30 thoughts on “My short intro to the genetics of speciation

  1. A few years ago, I was at a meeting for our association, and a turfgrass breeder, who had also been a professor, approached me and told me he wanted to write his final paper and he wanted me to help him with the publication process. He was 90 years old. We worked on the paper for months until he decided the paper was ready. It was published in due course, and he died a year later. It was a wonderful experience for me because I worked with him very closely for several months and got to know him fairly well. We both had a great time. I’m just saying you might have more scientific papers left than you think.

  2. Looking forward to reading the paper when I get access and the full issue when it’s out. Thanks, Jerry!

  3. Retiring from the University doesn’t mean retiring from science. Since retirement I’ve published several papers (they won’t increase my pension), one describing dozens of new species. So, yes, I’ll certainly read Jerry’s piece when the paywall is lifted.

    1. If you click “Research Interests” on the top right of the page, you will find PCC(e)’s email address. You can use that to inquire judiciously.

  4. The paper is delightful! It was an honor to have you write this for the Special Issue. Many thanks Jerry!

  5. After reading the piece, which I found fascinating even though I did not fully comprehend it, I wonder if the understanding of the two rules might, in your opinion, lead to an understanding of how and why sex originated in the first place.

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