January 22 2018

11:00 158 HH

Daniel Matute
Biology Department
University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill

Hybridization and Speciation are Two Sides of the Same Coin


The importance of genetic exchange between species (i.e. introgression of genes from one
species into another through hybrid intermediates) is a constant subject of debate among evolutionary biologists. While some claim genetic exchange is pervasive, others claim that it is
extremely rare. Currently, there is little data quantitatively supporting either of these scenarios. If
hybridization in nature is widespread and allows for the exchange of genes between species,
and if these genes can confer adaptive traits, then the field of evolutionary genetics is currently
ignoring an important source of variation and raw material for natural selection. I take an
integrative approach to answer this question. I have identified multiple Drosophila hybrid zones
which allow me to test the prevalence of introgression between species. My team has also
developed flexible analytical tools that outperform available methods to detect admixture.
Finally, I have developed genetic tools for these Drosophila species which allows me to formally
test the phenotypic effects of introgression. The combination of natural sampling, population
genetics, and genetic manipulation allows me to address questions about the relative frequency
and importance of introgressionówith a systematic precision that is challenging in any other
group of animals.










































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































this is idtest: