Rethinking evolution in self–fertilising species

Le 24 Mai 2024
11h30 Hybrid - online and Salle Louis Thaler, bat 22 UM

MAtthew hartfield

Institute of Ecology and Evolution, The University of Edinburgh, Scotland

Link to seminar:

The transition from outcrossing to self-fertilisation is one of the most common evolutionary changes in nature. Around 50% of plants self–fertilise to some degree, with 10–15% doing so extensively. Selfing is also observed in many animals, fungi and algae. The classic expectation is that it will lead to reduced genetic diversity due to inbreeding and population bottlenecks, reducing the efficacy of selection and eventually leading to population extinction. Emerging genome data from large-scale sequencing projects is challenging these classic ideas, showing how selfing species can still maintain genetic diversity and retain the capacity to adapt to their environments. However, we lack both models and genome-inference methods that can be used to understand genetic evolution from large-scale genome datasets from selfing species. In my seminar, I will outline several projects that aims to fill this knowledge gap. I will first present models describing signatures of adaptation in selfing species, both at individual genes and when there is a polygenic basis to selection. I will end with a discussion of how facultative sexual species can purge deleterious mutations in an analogous manner to selfing species.

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