Thursday Seminar: The evolution of sexual dimorphism: linking intra-sexual phenotypic and transcriptional variation across the genome
The prevalence and magnitude of sexual dimorphism in animals prompted Darwin’s conjecture of sexual selection as a force distinct from natural selection, and sexual dimorphism is arguably the most pervasive form of intra-specific diversity in the animal kingdom. The evolution of dimorphism, which affects morphology, physiology, behavior and life history, among many other traits, leads to many questions about how phenotypic divergence between the sexes occurs in a genome that is largely shared. It is clear that although genes restricted to the Y or W chromosome in the heterogametic sex encode some aspects of dimorphism, the majority of dimorphism is the product of different expression in males and females of genes that are present in both sexes. Transcriptional dimorphism therefore offers a route for understanding both the locus of sex-specific selection and the genomic basis of phenotypic dimorphism. Recent work capitalizing on the variation in phenotypic dimorphism in birds will be presented, using both comparative and experimental evolutionary frameworks.
Coffee and cookies will be served at 4 p.m.
Host: Professor George Zhang
Sponsored by the UMMZ Robert W. Storer Endowment