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.
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.
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