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Evolution and development of morphology among populations and between species of Drosophila

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Evolution and development of morphology among populations and between species of Drosophila

Alistair P. McGregor

Animals exhibit great variation in size and shape, and display many morphological innovations. A central challenge in evolutionary biology is to identify and understand the genetic basis of morphological evolution. Recent progress has been made in identifying the changes underlying variation in some traits including pigmentation and bristle patterns in flies, and genes responsible for the loss of traits, such as eyes in cavefish and pelvic structures in sticklebacks. However, there remains a paucity of knowledge regarding the contribution of variation in populations to differences between species, the evolution of complex quantitative morphological traits, and the evolutionary forces involved. My research addresses these questions by investigating the genetic basis of morphological differences within and between species of the Drosophila melanogaster subgroup. In this talk I will describe our work on the evolution of two traits, the ‘naked valley’ and eye morphology.

This talk is part of the Evolution and Development Seminar Series series.

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