Chromosome evolution & speciation in butterflies

Le 15 Mars 2024
11h30 Hybrid - online and Salle Louis Thaler, bat 22 UM


Institute of Ecology and Evolution, University of Edinburgh, United Kingdom

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There is a substantial body of theory showing that chromosome rearrangements can lead both to new species and new sex chromosome systems. However, empirical evidence for a causal link between chromosomal fusions and speciation remains scarce, and the early stages of neo-sex chromosome evolution have only been examined in a handful of species. I will discuss recent population genomic work on two young butterfly systems that has revealed a surprising number of inter-chromosomal rearrangements with far reaching evolutionary consequences: in Brenthis fritillaries, chromosome fusions and fissions have acted as long-term species barriers that may have triggered species divergence. In the Iberian Marbled White, a Z-autosome fusion generated a new sex chromosome system with a surprisingly dynamic evolutionary history.


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