Genetics Department Seminar Series: "Evolution of Reproductive Capacity in the Lab and in the Wild"
The number of offspring produced by an organism is a key element of fitness, and thus a critical parameter of evolutionary change. Reproductive output is controlled both genetically and environmentally, and can be highly variable even between closely related species. We have used multiple Drosophila species to elucidate the genetic, cellular, molecular and environmental mechanisms that regulate reproductive output, using both lab-reared and wild-caught populations. Our results show that a majority of major regulatory pathways control this key fitness trait, and that lab-discovered mechanisms may be the targets of evolutionary change to adaptively shape reproductive capacity in the wild.
Harvard UniversityCassandra Extavour, PhDProfessor