Book Review - Genetics, Speciation and the Founder Principle

Danny danny at orthanc.cs.su.oz.au
Mon Aug 30 21:18:45 EST 1993

Genetics, Speciation and the Founder Principle
(Eds) L.V. Giddings, K.Y. Kaneshiro and W.W. Anderson
Oxford University Press 1989
pp. 373

Speciation is one of the most interesting aspects of evolutionary
biology; it is the key process linking microevolution and
macroevolution.  _Genetics, Speciation and the Founder Principle_ is a
collection of seventeen essays on the underlying genetics of speciation.
Of the essays, the first two are historical, one a biographical
interview with Hampton Carson and the other an account of the history of
the founder principle in evolutionary biology.  The remaining essays vary
immensely in subject and approach, but the typical framework is an
attempt to place the results of laboratory experiments or fieldwork into
the context of different theoretical models of speciation.  The final
essay by Hampton Carson is a broad overview of the role of founder
populations in speciation.  

The particular topics discussed in the essays include (to list a few of
the more prominent) founder effects, genetic revolutions (a la Mayr),
phylogenetic analysis, karyotype evolution, gene regulation, sexual
selection, punctuated equilibrium and ethological effects.  The subject
material of the essays comes from a wide range of different species and
areas, but there is the usual concentration on Drosophila (other essays
look at various plant species, homo sapiens and naked mole rats), and
many of the essays are based on work done in the Hawaiian islands.  

Such a broad collection of essays will be of interest to a wide range of
biologists, and _Genetics, Speciation and the Founder Principle_
wouldn't make a bad introduction to the genetics of speciation for the
non-specialist with some background in genetics.  

Danny Yee (danny at cs.su.oz.au)

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