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One form of sympatric speciation can begin with a chromosomal error during meiosis or the formation of a hybrid individual with too many chromosomes. Polyploidy is a condition in which a cell, or organism, has an extra set, or sets, of chromosomes. Scientists have identified two main types of polyploidy that can lead to reproductive isolation of an individual in the polyploid state. In some cases a polyploid individual will have two or more complete sets of chromosomes from its own species in a condition called autopolyploidy ( [link] ). The prefix “auto” means self, so the term means multiple chromosomes from one’s own species. Polyploidy results from an error in meiosis in which all of the chromosomes move into one cell instead of separating.

Autopolyploidy results in offspring with two sets of chromosomes. In the example shown, a diploid parent (2n) produces polyploid offspring (4n).
Autopolyploidy results when mitosis is not followed by cytokinesis.

For example, if a plant species with 2 n = 6 produces autopolyploid gametes that are also diploid (2 n = 6, when they should be n = 3), the gametes now have twice as many chromosomes as they should have. These new gametes will be incompatible with the normal gametes produced by this plant species. But they could either self-pollinate or reproduce with other autopolyploid plants with gametes having the same diploid number. In this way, sympatric speciation can occur quickly by forming offspring with 4 n called a tetraploid. These individuals would immediately be able to reproduce only with those of this new kind and not those of the ancestral species. The other form of polyploidy occurs when individuals of two different species reproduce to form a viable offspring called an allopolyploid. The prefix “allo” means “other” (recall from allopatric); therefore, an allopolyploid occurs when gametes from two different species combine. [link] illustrates one possible way an allopolyploidy can form. Notice how it takes two generations, or two reproductive acts, before the viable fertile hybrid results.

Alloploidy results from viable matings between two species with different numbers of chromosomes. In the example shown, species one has three sets of chromosomes, and species two has two sets of chromosomes. When a normal gamete from species one (with three chromosomes) fuses with a polyploid gamete from species two (with two sets of chromosomes), a zygote with seven chromosomes results. An offspring from this mating produces a polyploid gamete, with seven chromosomes. If this polyploid gamete fuses with a normal gamete from species one, which has three chromosomes, the resulting offspring will have five viable sets of chromosomes.
Alloploidy results when two species mate to produce viable offspring. In the example shown, a normal gamete from one species fuses with a polyploid gamete from another. Two matings are necessary to produce viable offspring.

The cultivated forms of wheat, cotton, and tobacco plants are all allopolyploids. Although polyploidy occurs occasionally in animals, most chromosomal abnormalities in animals are lethal; it takes place most commonly in plants. Scientists have discovered more than 1/2 of all plant species studied relate back to a species evolved through polyploidy.

Sympatric speciation may also take place in ways other than polyploidy. For example, imagine a species of fish that lived in a lake. As the population grew, competition for food also grew. Under pressure to find food, suppose that a group of these fish had the genetic flexibility to discover and feed off another resource that was unused by the other fish. What if this new food source was found at a different depth of the lake? Over time, those feeding on the second food source would interact more with each other than the other fish; therefore they would breed together as well. Offspring of these fish would likely behave as their parents and feed and live in the same area, keeping them separate from the original population. If this group of fish continued to remain separate from the first population, eventually sympatric speciation might occur as more genetic differences accumulated between them.

This scenario does play out in nature, as do others that lead to reproductive isolation. One such place is Lake Victoria in Africa, famous for its sympatric speciation of cichlid fish. Researchers have found hundreds of sympatric speciation events in these fish, which have not only happened in great number, but also over a short period of time. [link] shows this type of speciation among a cichlid fish population in Nicaragua. In this locale, two types of cichlids live in the same geographic location; however, they have come to have different morphologies that allow them to eat various food sources.

The illustrations show two species of cichlid fish which are similar in appearance except that one has thin lips, and one has thick lips.
Cichlid fish from Lake Apoyeque, Nicaragua, show evidence of sympatric speciation. Lake Apoyeque, a crater lake, is 1800 years old, but genetic evidence indicates that the lake was populated only 100 years ago by a single population of cichlid fish. Nevertheless, two populations with distinct morphologies and diets now exist in the lake, and scientists believe these populations may be in an early stage of speciation.

Finally, a well-documented example of ongoing sympatric speciation occurred in the apple maggot fly, Rhagoletis pomonella, which arose as an isolated population sometime after the introduction of the apple into North America. The native population of flies fed on hawthorn species and is host-specific: it only infests hawthorn trees. Importantly, it also uses the trees as a location to meet for mating. It is hypothesized that either through mutation or a behavioral mistake, flies jumped hosts and met and mated in apple trees, subsequently laying their eggs in apple fruit. The offspring matured and kept their preference for the apple trees effectively dividing the original population into two new populations separated by host species, not by geography. The host jump took place in the nineteenth century, but there are now measureable differences between the two populations of fly. It seems likely that host specificity of parasites in general is a common cause of sympatric speciation.

Section summary

Speciation occurs along two main pathways: geographic separation (allopatric speciation) and through mechanisms that occur within a shared habitat (sympatric speciation). Both pathways force reproductive isolation between populations. Sympatric speciation can occur through errors in meiosis that form gametes with extra chromosomes, called polyploidy. Autopolyploidy occurs within a single species, whereas allopolyploidy occurs because of a mating between closely related species. Once the populations are isolated, evolutionary divergence can take place leading to the evolution of reproductive isolating traits that prevent interbreeding should the two populations come together again. The reduced viability of hybrid offspring after a period of isolation is expected to select for stronger inherent isolating mechanisms.

Questions & Answers

what is ecology, ecosystem?
Nkeng Reply
what is digestive system
Lucky Reply
digestive system is the human syman system that icludes esopuges stomach o braking down of food in to useful substance to our body
definition of biology basics
Ritu Reply
the potential energy of a molecule can be inquired by their number of?
Jesus Reply
what is the full meaning of RNA
Ayo Reply
ribose nucleic acid
Ribonucleic acid
discuss, describe at least three (3) methods that could be used to improve photosynthesis..
Marvel Reply
Improve the efficiency with which plants capture light Improve the efficiency by which plants turn light into energy The smart canopy concept develop crop planting schemes that increase the penetration of sunlight into lower-level leaves.
what is osmosis
Aon Reply
movement of water molecule from higher to lower concentration through a semipereable membrene.
what of in the case of solute
osmosis is the movement of molecules from higher concentration region to lower concentration region through semi-permeable membrane.
in case of solute means that water moves from the region with lower solutes to the region with higher solute. so it is vice versa to water.
what are the hydrophilic and hydrophobic region of the plasma membrane?
Samuel Reply
hydrophilic in other word it called water loving and hydrophobic region other word is region that does not contact with water in the plasma membrane.
the phospholipids
recognizing living things
Emmanuel Reply
Species A has 12 pairs of chromosomes and Species B has 11 pairs of chromosomes. Explain what occurs during mitosis and during meiosis in the hybrid that allows normal development and growth from zygote to adult, but causes the adults to be sterile.
Christina Reply
what is the origin of angiosperms?
unknown group of gymnosperms of triassic period.
ouky but what about the concept of monophyletic and polyphyletic? where angiosperms is between that two concept?
Why does water move through a membrane?
Christina Reply
Explanation: Water can diffuse through the lipid bilayer even though it's polar because it's a very small molecule. Water can also pass through the cell membrane by osmosis, because of the high osmotic pressure difference between the inside and the outside the cell
How many bones are in the human skeleton
Treasure Reply
it is about 270 bones at birth and decreases to 206 bones in adulthood.
procce of digestion of proteins a long human alimentarycanal
Carson Reply
This is accomplished by enzymes through hydrolysis.
what are the properties of lipids?
Isiah Reply
They are: Fatty acids, fats, oils, waxes, phospholipid, glycolipids, steroids and some vitamins
lipids are made  up of a glycerol molecule with three fatty acid molecules attached to it. 
explain why a fresh water fish excrete ammonia
Leonard Reply
plz answer my question
sorry i meant it has a nucleous unlike plant cells lol
Ammonia is the end product of protein catabolism and is stored in the body of the fish in high concentrations relative to basal excretion rates. Ammonia, if allowed to accumulate, is toxic and is converted to less toxic compounds or excreted
cartilagenous fish's are ureolitic they excrete the waste in the form of urea as there undigested food mostly forms urea in their digestive system n much of the urea iz stored in the of the cartilagenous fish's. hence they are not a edible, but boney fish's excrete ammonia as they form less amount o
i really find some stuffs hard u guys are guru's

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