Speciation is the process by which an interbreeding population becomes divided into reproductively isolated groups. The long-term research goal in our laboratory is to test the hypothesis that the first steps toward postzygotic reproductive isolation are due to the evolution of sex-ratio meiotic drive systems. Sex- ratio meiotic drive is a phenomenon of non-Mendelian segregation manifested by genetic conflicts between sex chromosomes and autosomes. In the proposed research, we shall characterize genes involved in meiotic drive and/or hybrid male sterility. First, we will study the Winter sex-ratio for the molecular mechanisms involved for this system through small RNA profiling and transgenics. Second, we will study the Durham sex-ratio to characterize the hybrid male sterility loci that are either member of or interacting with this sex-ratio system. In the end, we expect to determine the molecular and evolutionary link between meiotic drive and speciation.

Public Health Relevance

Speciation is the process by which an interbreeding population becomes divided into reproductively isolated groups. We propose to determine the molecular and evolutionary link between meiotic drive, a form of genetic conflicts within a genome, and speciation.

Agency
National Institute of Health (NIH)
Institute
Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health & Human Development (NICHD)
Type
Research Project (R01)
Project #
5R01HD060679-04
Application #
8241160
Study Section
Genetic Variation and Evolution Study Section (GVE)
Program Officer
Taymans, Susan
Project Start
2009-04-01
Project End
2014-03-31
Budget Start
2012-04-01
Budget End
2014-03-31
Support Year
4
Fiscal Year
2012
Total Cost
$305,672
Indirect Cost
$108,464
Name
Emory University
Department
Biology
Type
Schools of Arts and Sciences
DUNS #
066469933
City
Atlanta
State
GA
Country
United States
Zip Code
30322
Branco, A T; Tao, Y; Hartl, D L et al. (2013) Natural variation of the Y chromosome suppresses sex ratio distortion and modulates testis-specific gene expression in Drosophila simulans. Heredity (Edinb) 111:8-15
Meiklejohn, Colin D; Tao, Yun (2010) Genetic conflict and sex chromosome evolution. Trends Ecol Evol 25:215-23