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"Natural perfumes mediate mate choice and speciation in stick insects"

February 23, 2017
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A team of scientists from around the world, including researchers from Simon Fraser University (Bernard Crespi, Regine Gries, Gerhard Gries), Royal Holloway, University of London, and the University of Sheffield, have discovered that smell and taste are key drivers of the formation of new species (‘speciation’) in stick insects.

The study, published online 17 February 2017 in Nature Ecology & Evolution draws on data collected over 18 years of research from more than 100 populations of 11 species of plant-eating stick insects (genus Timema) from across California. The work involves field data, experiments, and over 1000 re-sequenced whole genomes. (From Bernie Crespi's press release.)

A stick insect featured in this study will be on the cover of the April issue of Nature Ecology and Evolution.

The study has drawn some attention. See links below:

http://www.usu.edu/today/?id=56529

http://www.news.ucsb.edu/2017/017702/chemical-sex-appeal