March 14 (Thu) at 16:00 - 17:00, 2024 (JST)
  • Laura Ross (Senior Lecturer, Institute of Evolutionary Biology, University of Edinburgh, UK)
Thomas Hitchcock

Under Mendelian inheritance, individuals receive one set of chromosomes from each of their parents, and transmit one set of these chromosomes at random to their offspring. Yet, in thousands of animals Mendel's laws are broken and the transmission of maternal and paternal alleles becomes unequal. Why such non-Mendelian reproductive systems have evolved repeatedly across the tree of life remains unclear. My lab studies a variety of arthropod species to understand why, when and how the transmission of genes from one generation to the next deviate from Mendel’s laws. We mainly focus on species with Paternal Genome Elimination: Males transmit only those chromosomes they inherited from their mother to their offspring, while paternal chromosomes are excluded from sperm through meiotic drive. I will present recent work aimed at understanding the evolution of this unusual reproductive strategy in a clade of flies. These flies arguably have one of the most bizarre and complex chromosome systems of any insect and we use this complexity to study a range of topics including the evolution of sex chromosomes, germline-restricted chromosomes and sexual conflict.

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