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Last update: March 2009
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A compilation of phenotypic differences between species of the D. melanogaster subgroup

V. Orgogozo1 and D. L. Stern2  
CNRS, Université Pierre et Marie Curie, Paris, France
Princeton University, Princeton, USA

    The D. melanogaster subgroup comprises nine species: D. melanogaster, D. simulans, D. sechellia, D. mauritiana, D. yakuba, D. santomea, D. teissieri, D. erecta and D. orena.  This subgroup is currently one of the best model system to study the genetic and genomic basis of evolution (phenotypic evolution, speciation, genomic conflict, phylogeography, etc.):
(1) most of these species' genomes are sequenced,
(2) multiple technical tools such as transgenesis are available,
(3) most of these species are recently diverged and can still produce hybrids in the laboratory,
(4) the nine species have evolved to exploit a wide diversity of ecological niches.
    Even though these nine species are morphorlogically very similar, more than 150 interspecific phenotypic differences (morphological, physiological or behavioral) have been reported in the literature since 1919. This web page is intended to synthesize all these studies. For any two species of the D. melanogaster subgroup which can produce interspecific hybrids, you can obtain here a list of the phenotypic traits that differ between them, with links to the corresponding references.

Comments and additions are welcome at: Virginie.Orgogozo normalesup.org