Abstract. Testing hypotheses about the genetic basis of traits that change during speciation and generate biodiversity is the primary goal of this study. The genomic contributions of acoustic communication behaviors involved in mate recognition in the cricket genus Laupala will be studied. Different species of Laupala sing distinctively and show species-specific acoustic preferences that lead to patterns of interbreeding within species, and thus present a useful model for this problem. The acoustic phenotypes of Laupala (both song and preference) will be measured and a quantitative trait locus study will be undertaken in this recently derived pair of species. A genomic linkage map will be constructed and a large interspecific breeding population will be generated to address questions about these traits: 1) do many genes of small, additive effect underlie and make directional contributions to the interspecific variation in song and in preference between these two species, and 2) do the genomic regions affecting song variation also affect acoustic preference variation? Behavioral differences may be the primary differences between recent species, and yet our understanding of the genetic basis of these behaviors lags behind our understanding of other aspects of speciation. This study will begin to change this deficiency. The present work creates a resource for future studies that will integrate candidate loci, such as ion channel and biological clock genes, into our linkage map and genetic mapping analyses. Much of the functional coordination between the mating partners depends on the expression of biologically timed elements of behavior and Laupala provides a useful model to study this observation. Rhythmic behavior extends well beyond interbreeding events and are deployed in many contexts, making a substantial contribution to biological diversity. These diverse behaviors may share common mechanical properties and origins. Changes in the rate at which these clocks tick may cause phenomena as diverse as neurological disease and variation in speciation and diversification tempos.

National Science Foundation (NSF)
Division of Environmental Biology (DEB)
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Elizabeth Lyons
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Harvard University
United States
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