Genomic Exclusion; Males that Lose their Fathers Genes

4:00pm - 5:00pm / Tuesday 29th October 2019 / Venue: Lecture Theatre 2 Life Sciences Building
Type: Seminar / Category: Department / Series: BEEM Seminar
  • Suitable for: Staff and students with an interest in Behaviour, Evolution, Ecology and Microbiology
  • Admission: Free
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Speaker: Laura Ross (University of Edinburgh)

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. Laura’s lab studies a variety of insect species to understand why, when and how the transmission of genes from one generation to the next deviate from Mendel’s laws. The main focus is 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. Here Laura presents an overview of her work on the evolution of this unusual reproductive strategy and the mechanisms responsible for the parent-of-origin specific behaviour and loss of genes.