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The fish of Lake Victoria are still exchanging genes


The fish of Lake Victoria are still interbreeding
Jan Klein Scientist
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The comparison showed that there were no differences.  That we could not distinguish the species, we could not distinguish the populations. The differences... the amount of difference between the populations of the same species from different localities was the same as the difference between species. Now, one can argue the sample was not sufficient and that the collection of gene was not sufficient and so on. I am out of this kind of research so I will not be able to expand it, but from the data that we had and which were largely produced by Irene Samonte a PhD student at that time in my institute, and were then analysed by Naoyuki Takahata and especially Yoko Satta, the analysis of the data shows that there are indeed no differences between them.  And that is surprising and to me it indicates only one thing, that the so-called species are exchanging genes, that they are still interbreeding, that they are not isolated as one would expect from a true species.

Born in 1936, Jan Klein is a Czech-American immunologist who co-founded the modern science of immunogenetics – key to understanding illness and disease. He is the author or co-author of over 560 scientific publications and of seven books including 'Where Do We Come From?' which examines the molecular evolution of humans. He graduated from the Charles University at Prague in 1955, and received his MS in Botany from the same school in 1958. From 1977 to his retirement in 2004, he was the Director of the Max Planck Institute for Biology at Tübingen, Germany.

Listeners: Colm O'hUigin

Colm O'hUigin is a senior staff scientist at the US National Cancer Institute. He received his BA, MSc and PhD at the Genetics Department of Trinity College, Dublin where he later returned as a lecturer. He has held appointments at the Center for Population and Demographic Genetics, UT Houston, and at the University of Cambridge. As an EMBO fellow, he moved in 1990 to the Max Planck Institute for Biology in Tübingen, Germany to work with Jan Klein and lead a research group studying the evolutionary origins of immune molecules, of teeth, trypanosomes and of species.

Tags: Lake Victoria, Naoyuki Takahata, Yoko Satta, Irene Samonte, Irene Samonte-Padilla

Duration: 1 minute, 43 seconds

Date story recorded: August 2005

Date story went live: 24 January 2008