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OEB Seminar Series: Patricia Wittkopp

April 8, 2021


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Genetic links between pigmentation and mating behavior in Drosophila

Abstract: Pigmentation and mating behavior are some of the most variable traits among Drosophila species, often showing correlated changes that suggest they might be co-evolving. Such co-evolution can occur because of correlated selection pressures, genetic linkage between loci affecting different traits, or effects of a single gene on multiple traits (pleiotropy). Distinguishing among these causes requires identifying the genetic basis of variation in both traits. In this seminar, I will discuss genetic changes contributing differences in body color, cuticular hydrocarbons (some of which act as pheromones), and behaviors such as wing extension and mounting that affect mating success. These data provide evidence for both linkage and pleiotropy contributing to the co-occurrence of these divergent traits.


April 8
3:30 pm - 5:00 pm




Harvard University