Royal Society Publishing

Sympatric speciation: compliance with phenotype diversification from a single genotype

Kunihiko Kaneko , Tetsuya Yomo


A novel mechanism for sympatric speciation that takes into account complex bioprocesses within each individual organism is proposed. According to dynamical systems theory, organisms with identical genotypes can possess differentiated physiological states and may coexist ‘symbiotically’through appropriate mutual interaction. With mutations, the phenotypically differentiated organisms gradually come to possess distinct genotypes while maintaining their symbiotic relationship. This symbiotic speciation is robust against sexual recombination, because offspring of mixed parentage with intermediate genotypes are less fit than their parents. This leads to sterility of the hybrid. Accordingly, a basis for mating preference also arises.