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Revista chilena de historia natural

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ROTHHAMMER, FRANCISCO  and  MANRIQUEZ, GERMÁN. Danko Brncic and coadaptation. Rev. chil. hist. nat. [online]. 2001, vol.74, n.1, pp.177-181. ISSN 0716-078X.

The concept of coadaptation is old in biology. Darwin mentioned the "many striking and complex co-adaptations of structure between one organic being and another". Also Dobzhansky (1937), Mather (1943), and Mather & Harrison (1949) utilized the concept. When D. Brncic arrived in New York to work in Dobzhansky's laboratory, coadaptation was widely accepted as a mechanism of maintenance of genetic variation in populations and was part of the balance model whose main representative was this geneticist. In various papers Vetukhiv and Brncic proved that the F1 of interpopulational crosses exhibit higher fitness however as predicted, the F2 and F3 flies showed lower values. These experiments were a serious blow to the theory of coadaptation according to Lewontin et al. (1981). Later other authors, like Wallace (1990), stated that Lewontin's positions were not necessarily accurate. Apparently, like it occurred on other occasions in evolutionary biology, in this case, the position of different investigators probably reflect a priori conceptions. Most likely this interesting discussion about coadaptation may finally show the role that other important mechanisms such as homeostasis and heterosis could play in the appearance of evolutionary novelties in natural populations

Keywords : Danko Brncic; coadapted gene complexes; maintenance of genetic variation.

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