Big-data analysis reveals gene sharing in mice

16 diciembre 2014

Scientists have detected at least three potential hybridization events that likely shaped the evolutionary paths of ‘old world’ mice, two in recent times and one in the ancient past. The researchers think these instances of introgressive hybridization — a way for genetic material and, potentially, traits to be passed from one species to another through interspecific mating — are only the first of many needles waiting to be found in a very large genetic haystack. While introgressive hybridization is thought to be common among plants, the finding suggests that hybridization in mammals may not be the evolutionary dead end biologists once commonly thought.