A combinatorial view on speciation

A review by Joana Meier, Ole Seehausen and me was just published in Trends in Ecology & Evolution. In this manuscript, we highlight a genetic mechanism that has often be found to facilitate rapid speciation and adaptive radiations in speciation genomic research from the recent years (see a few examples in the figure below). The mechanism we highlight is the reassembly of old genetic variants into new combinations or ‘combinatorial mechanism’.


Adopting such a combinatorial view makes some counter-intuitive predictions, for example that speciation rates might be inversely related to the rate of complete reproductive isolation between speciating taxa, and might throw new light on old issues such as the likelihood of speciation in sympatry. I hope you enjoy the read and feel free to let me know your thoughts of our ideas!