Challenging assumptions on the role of inversions in speciation using Drosophila
Abstract: Many recent studies have argued that chromosomal inversions allow hybridizing species to persist through their anti-recombinational effects. In this talk, I re-examine the classic case of Drosophila pseudoobscura and D. persimilis in this context. I present work by my recent PhD graduate, Katharine Korunes, refining the story, first showing that inversions do reduce exchange but are far from impermeable. Gene flow is detectable even in single-generation crosses via gene conversion and double-crossovers, and its high rate could challenge long-term evolutionary persistence of sequence differences even in inverted regions. Second, she comprehensively examined sequence differentiation across this species group and identified evidence of extensive historic and recent gene exchange especially outside inverted regions. Her detailed observations reconcile contradictory arguments from numerous recent studies and provide cautions for many ways such studies can misintepret seemingly straightforward patterns of sequence divergence.
Dr. Noor will share his work in science education at a public lecture hosted by the Bok Center for Teaching and Learning on Wednesday, December 11