Intrinsic post-zygotic isolation (sterility or inviability of hybrids between two species) is an intriguing, yet complex component of speciation. While the effects of post-zygotic isolation have been observed for years, the direct cause remains unclear. However, advances in modern genetics elucidate some of the questions surrounding both the cause and function of post-zygotic isolation. By using Drosophila as the ideal model, researchers are able to characterize and identify genes that may be responsible for both the hybrid sterility and inviability associated with this type of isolation. Knowing which genes are responsible for these types of incompatibilities has also led to a better understanding of how and why they changed and how they result in speciation.
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