reproductive isolation


Definition of reproductive isolation

: the inability of a species to breed successfully with related species due to geographical, behavioral, physiological, or genetic barriers or differences

Examples of reproductive isolation in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web In theory, the GRC could have created the reproductive isolation needed for new species to evolve by rendering those individuals that carried the extra chromosome unable to interbreed and produce fertile offspring with those that did not. Kate Wong, Scientific American, "Solving the Mystery of Songbird Diversity," 1 Nov. 2019 Many genetic variants tied to the reproductive isolation of species are older than the species themselves. Quanta Magazine, "New Hybrid Species Remix Old Genes Creatively," 10 Sep. 2019 Choosy females prefer the particular color sported by males of their own species, leading to reproductive isolation. Steph Yin, New York Times, "The Strange Origin of a Manakin’s Golden Crown," 3 Jan. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'reproductive isolation.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of reproductive isolation

1949, in the meaning defined above

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The first known use of reproductive isolation was in 1949

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Cite this Entry

“Reproductive isolation.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 14 Aug. 2020.

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