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It was first used by Theodosius Dobzhansky and his colleagues. They collected samples from populations in western North America and Mexico, and grew them in 'population cages' in the laboratory. They were interested in natural selection, genetic drift, and other aspects of population genetics.
In 1989 Diane Dodd gave laboratory populations of D. pseudoobscura two different food types, starch and maltose. They rapidly evolved into two distinct groups after only eight generations with the different foods. Dodd's experiment has been repeated by others, and works with other kinds of fruit flies and foods.
- Dobzhansky T. 1970. Genetics of the evolutionary process. Columbia University Press, New York.
- Dobzhansky T. 1981. Dobzhansky's Genetics of natural populations I-XLIII. R.C. Lewontin, J.A. Moore, W.B. Provine & B. Wallace, eds. Columbia University Press, New York. (reprints the 43 papers in this series, all but two of which were authored or co-authored by Dobzhansky)
- Dobzhansky, T.; Pavlovsky, O. (1957). "An experimental study of interaction between genetic drift and natural selection". Evolution 11 (3): 311–319. . http://www.blackwellpublishing.com/ridley/classictexts/dobzpav.asp.
- Dodd's publication 
- Dodd D.M.B. (1989). "Reproductive isolation as a consequence of adaptive divergence in Drosophila pseudoobscura". Evolution 43: 1308–1311. http://www.eebweb.arizona.edu/Courses/Ecol525/Readings/Dodd_1989.pdf.
- Kirkpatrick M. & Ravigné V. (2002). "Speciation by natural and sexual selection: models and experiments". The American Naturalist 159: S22–S35. . .
- S. Richards, Y. Liu, et al. (2005). "Comparative genome sequencing of Drosophila pseudoobscura: Chromosomal, gene, and cis-element evolution". Genome Research 15 (1): 1–18. . . . http://www.genome.org/cgi/content/full/15/1/1.