Francisco J. Ayala

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E Mayr, one of the 20th century’s greatest scientists and a principal author of the modern theory of evolution, passed away on February 3, 2005, at the age of 100. From December 16 to 18, 2004, before Mayr’s passing, a colloquium on ‘‘Systematics and the Origin of Species’’ sponsored by the National Academy of Sciences was held in his honor. The(More)
T present book is intended as a progress report on [the] synthetic approach to evolution as it applies to the plant kingdom’’ (ref. 1, p. ix). With this simple statement, G. Ledyard Stebbins formulated the objectives of Variation and Evolution in Plants (1), published in 1950, the last of a quartet of classics that, in the second quarter of the 20th(More)
DNA sequence variation in a 1410-bp region including the Cu,Zn Sod locus was examined in 41 homozygous lines of Drosophila melanogaster. Fourteen lines were from Barcelona, Spain, 25 were from California populations and the other two were from laboratory stocks. Two common electromorphs, SODS and SODF, are segregating in the populations. Our sample of 41(More)
We have analyzed the conserved regions of the gene coding for the circumsporozoite protein (CSP) in 12 species of Plasmodium, the malaria parasite. The closest evolutionary relative of P. falciparum, the agent of malignant human malaria, is P. reichenowi, a chimpanzee parasite. This is consistent with the hypothesis that P. falciparum is an ancient human(More)
A genetic interpretation of the zymograms of 524 Trypanosoma cruzi stocks from various hosts and representing a broad geographical range (United States to Southern Brazil) reveals high genetic variability (only one monomorphic locus out of 15) and suggests that this parasite has a diploid structure. The data do not give any indication of Mendelian(More)
Chromosome rearrangements (such as inversions, fusions, and fissions) may play significant roles in the speciation between parapatric (contiguous) or partly sympatric (geographically overlapping) populations. According to the "hybrid-dysfunction" model, speciation occurs because hybrids with heterozygous chromosome rearrangements produce dysfunctional(More)
We propose a general theory of clonal reproduction for parasitic protozoa, which has important medical and biological consequences. Many parasitic protozoa have been assumed to reproduce sexually, because of diploidy and occasional sexuality in the laboratory. However, a population genetic analysis of extensive data on biochemical polymorphisms indicates(More)
Pseudogenes have been defined as nonfunctional sequences of genomic DNA originally derived from functional genes. It is therefore assumed that all pseudogene mutations are selectively neutral and have equal probability to become fixed in the population. Rather, pseudogenes that have been suitably investigated often exhibit functional roles, such as gene(More)
We have studied 15 gene loci coding for enzymes in 121 Trypanosoma cruzi stocks from a wide geographic range--from the United States and Mexico to Chile and southern Brazil. T. cruzi is diploid but reproduction is basically clonal, with very little if any sexuality remaining at present. We have identified 43 different clones by their genetic composition;(More)