Daniel’s new MolEcol paper on chromosomal inversions in an Australian finch hybrid zone

A paper lead-authored by postdoc Daniel Hooper is out now in Molecular Ecology where you can read about how ‘Sex Chromosome Inversions Enforce Reproductive Isolation Across An Avian Hybrid Zone’. This paper, focused on the hybrid zone in northern Australia between subspecies of the long-tailed finch (Poephila acuticauda), is one of the first studies to showcase the large contribution of a chromosomal inversion to reproductive isolation in an avian hybrid system. Daniel and his co-authors also highlight the importance of sex chromosomes to the speciation process, the feedback process between sex chromosome and inversion evolution, as well as use genetic and bill color data from nearly 300 individuals in order to identify three putative genetic regions involved in bill color: the phenotypic difference historically used to identify long-tailed finch subspecies.

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