Table of Contents
International Journal of Evolutionary Biology
Volume 2012, Article ID 191495, 9 pages
Review Article

Sex and Speciation: Drosophila Reproductive Tract Proteins— Twenty Five Years Later

1Department of Biology, McMaster University, Hamilton, ON, Canada L8S 4K1
2Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, P.O. Box 0843-03092, Balboa, Panama

Received 28 June 2012; Accepted 16 September 2012

Academic Editor: Alberto Civetta

Copyright © 2012 Rama Singh and Santosh Jagadeeshan. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The protein electrophoresis revolution, nearly fifty years ago, provided the first glimpse into the nature of molecular genetic variation within and between species and showed that the amount of genetic differences between newly arisen species was minimal. Twenty years later, 2D electrophoresis showed that, in contrast to general gene-enzyme variation, reproductive tract proteins were less polymorphic within species but highly diverged between species. The 2D results were interesting and revolutionary, but somewhat uninterpretable because, at the time, rapid evolution and selective sweeps were not yet part of the common vocabulary of evolutionary biologists. Since then, genomic studies of sex and reproduction-related (SRR) genes have grown rapidly into a large area of research in evolutionary biology and are shedding light on a number of phenomena. Here we review some of the major and current fields of research that have greatly contributed to our understanding of the evolutionary dynamics and importance of SRR genes and genetic systems in understanding reproductive biology and speciation.