Biodiversity Research Seminar Series (BRS)

BRS Ken Thompson: The Ecology of Hybrid Incompatibilities

November 1, 2023, 12:00 pm to 1:00 pm

2212 Main Mall

Zoom webinar link for remote attendees:

Passcode: 202209


host: Darren Irwin

Title:‘The Ecology of Hybrid Incompatibilities’

Abstract: Dobzhansky-Muller incompatibilities (DMIs) occur when alleles at different genetic loci interact to reduce the fitness of hybrids. Although DMIs are thought to be the main genetic cause of the origin of new species —speciation—most work on DMIs has approached the topic from a non-ecological perspective, focusing primarily on pairs of large-effect genes that reduce viability and/or fertility in the lab.  In my talk I will give an overview of my work investigating the ecological basis of DMIs in both plant and animal systems. I'll discuss a project investigating phenotype-fitness relationships in the field, a comparative hybridization study inferring how ecologically mediated incompatibilities accumulate through evolutionary time, and a large-scale test for complex and environment-specific genetic incompatibilities using DNA sequence data. I'll conclude by discussing my viewpoints about how the study of incompatibilities should be broadened to reflect that many or most DMIs might be ecological in nature.

  • Biodiversity Research Seminar Series (BRS)

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