Two in One
Postdoctoral fellow, Anna Kearns, through the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute’s Center for Conservation Genomics, has taken lead studying a process known as speciation reversal. Speciation- where one species divides into two- is well known in evolutionary research. A new study suggests that this process can happen in reverse. Two distinct lineages can merge into one instead.
A paper published in Nature Communications, discusses the idea of speciation reversal and provides evidence to support it. The study is based on common ravens. After studying two common raven lineages, it was discovered that the two are intermixed. Further study of nuclear genome data tells us that these two lineages were different two million years ago but have been coming together over tens of thousands of years. It is possible that this process has also occurred in other species including humans. Further research on this study is being done in SCBI’s Center for Conservation Genomics Ancient DNA Lab.
To read more about this fascinating topic and fellow Anna Kearns work, please click here.