The phylogeny of closely related species as revealed by the genealogy of a speciation gene, Odysseus
Molecular differentiation between races or closely related species is often incongruent with the reproductive divergence of the taxa of interest. Shared ancient polymorphism and/or introgression during secondary contact may be responsible for the incongruence. At loci contributing to speciation, these two complications should be minimized (1, 2); hence, their variation may more faithfully reflect the history of the species' reproductive differentiation. In this study, we analyzed DNA polymorphism at the Odysseus (OdsH) locus of hybrid sterility between Drosophila mauritiana and Drosophila simulans and were able to verify such a prediction. Interestingly, DNA variation only a short distance away (1.8 kb) appears not to be influenced by the forces that shape the recent evolution of the OdsH coding region. This locus thus may represent a test case of inferring phylogeny of very closely related species.