The genetics of sex-specific fitness in fruitflies


This project studies genetic constraints that limit optimal adaptation in males and females. Recent work demonstrates that adaptive conflicts occur between and within the sexes, preventing them from optimally adapting to their respective reproductive roles. These conflicts are caused by genetic interactions that create opposing fitness effects depending on the sex and/or the genetic background in which allelic variants are expressed. Building on our previous quantitative genetic and population genomic work, you will investigate the genetic basis of these conflicts. Your work will have important implications for our understanding of adaptation and the maintenance of genetic variation for fitness.

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AK Chippindale, JR Gibson and WR Rice (2001) Negative genetic correlation for adult fitness between sexes reveals ontogenetic conflict in Drosophila. PNAS 981:671-1675.


P Innocenti and EH Morrow (2010) The Sexually Antagonistic Genes of Drosophila melanogaster. PLoS Biol 8: e1000335


R Bonduriansky and SF Chenoweth. 2009. Intralocus sexual conflict. Trends Ecol. Evol. 24:280-288.


AK Chippindale and WR Rice (2001) Y chromosome polymorphism is a strong determinant of male fitness in Drosophila melanogaster. PNAS 98:5677-5682.


B Lemos, et al. (2008) Polymorphic Y chromosomes harbor cryptic variation with manifold functional consequences.?Science 319, 91-93.

Biological Areas:



Genes, development and STEM approaches to biology