Laudenbach Lecture 2010
Saturday October 02, 2010; NCB 117
Adam Chippindale - Associate Professor
The Evolutionary Battle of the Sexes: Arms Race or Tug-of-War?
The two sexes often employ different strategies to maximize reproductive success, resulting in some of the most splendid, and the most horrific, adaptations. In the former category, we have exquisite ornaments that serve to impress prospective mates; in the latter, the armaments of coercion and defence. These kinds of female-male coadaptations are believed to evolve rapidly in a kind of "arms race" dynamic, with strong implications for the evolution of reproductive isolation and hence the origin of species. At the same time, selection for different strategies and body forms presents another kind of problem for the genome: How does one genome cope with different selective pressures acting upon the same genes in each sex? This kind of conflict creates a "tug-of-war" dynamic between the sexes and promotes the evolution of sex chromosomes and various mechanisms of gender-specific gene expression. In the Laudenbach Lecture presentation, I will provide a whirlwind tour of sexual conflict in animals and plants, and zoom in on a particularly well-studied system -- Drosophila, the fruit fly -- to make the case that sexual conflict is a powerful force shaping the evolution of genetic diversity within populations and speciation among them. [read more]
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September 9, 2010
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