Interspecific genetics of speciation phenotypes: song and preference coevolution in Hawaiian crickets

K. P. Oh*, D. J. Fergus, J. L. Grace, K. L. Shaw

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Citations (Scopus)


Understanding the genetic architecture of traits involved in premating isolation between recently diverged lineages can provide valuable insight regarding the mode and tempo of speciation. The repeated coevolution of male courtship song and female preference across the species radiation of Laupala crickets presents an unusual opportunity to compare the genetic basis of divergence across independent evolutionary histories. Previous studies of one pair of species revealed a polygenic basis (including a significant X chromosome contribution) to quantitative differences in male song and female acoustic preference. Here, we studied interspecific crosses between two phenotypically less-diverged species that represents a phylogenetically independent occurrence of intersexual signalling evolution. We found patterns consistent with an additive polygenic basis to differentiation in both song and preference (n= 5.3 and 5.1 genetic factors, respectively), and estimate a moderate contribution of the X chromosome (7.6%) of similar magnitude to that observed for Laupala species with nearly twice the phenotypic divergence. Together, these findings suggest a similar genetic architecture underlying the repeated evolution of sexual characters in this genus and provide a counterexample to prevailing theory predicting an association between early lineage divergence and sex-linked 'major genes'.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1500-1512
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Evolutionary Biology
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • Laupala
  • Parallel evolution
  • Polygenic traits
  • Sexual selection


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