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The evolution of sensory divergence in the context of limited gene fl ow in the bumblebee bat

Abstract : The sensory drive theory of speciation predicts that populations of the same species inhabiting different environments can differ in sensory traits, and that this sensory difference can ultimately drive speciation. However, even in the best-known examples of sensory ecology driven speciation, it is uncertain whether the variation in sensory traits is the cause or the consequence of a reduction in levels of gene fl ow. Here we show strong genetic differentiation, no gene fl ow and large echolocation differences between the allopatric Myanmar and Thai populations of the world ' s smallest mammal, Craseonycteris thonglongyai , and suggest that geographic isolation most likely preceded sensory divergence. Within the geographically continuous Thai population, we show that geographic distance has a primary role in limiting gene fl ow rather than echolocation divergence. In line with sensory-driven speciation models, we suggest that in C. thonglongyai, limited gene fl ow creates the suitable conditions that favour the evolution of sensory divergence via local adaptation.
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Sebastien J. Puechmaille, Meriadeg Ar Gouilh, Piyathip Piyapan, Medhi Yokubol, Khin Mie Mie, et al.. The evolution of sensory divergence in the context of limited gene fl ow in the bumblebee bat. Nature Communications, Nature Publishing Group, 2011, 2, pp.573. ⟨10.1038/ncomms1582⟩. ⟨hal-00671094⟩



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