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Rick Harrison

Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
Cornell University

Speciation and the origin of barriers to gene exchange: identifying candidate genes and gene regions

Monday, November 15, 2010
Lecture Hall 2, 5:00 PM

Abstract

Most studies of the process of speciation focus on the origin of reproductive isolation between diverging lineages. Identifying genes (and gene products) that contribute to the phenotypic differences responsible for barriers to gene exchange represents a major challenge for evolutionary biologists. The Harrison lab uses both “genome scans” and a candidate gene approach to search for such genes in a range of non-model organisms. In this seminar, I will discuss progress toward understanding phenotypes and genotypes underlying barriers to gene exchange between two hybridizing cricket species (genus Gryllus) and between two pheromone “strains” of the European corn borer (genus Ostrinia).

Biography

Harrison is a confirmed northeasterner, having done his undergraduate degree at Harvard, his Ph.D. at Cornell, and then been a faculty member at Yale and Cornell. He started life as a molecular biologist, but relatively early on recognized the fascination of evolutionary biology. He is currently Professor of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at Cornell.

Readings

  • Dopman, EB, Perez, L, Bogdanowicz, SM, Harrison, RG (2005). Consequences of reproductive barriers for genealogical discordance in the European corn borer. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, USA 102:14706-14711
  • Andrés JA, Maroja LS, Harrison RG (2008). Searching for candidate speciation genes using a proteomic approach: seminal proteins in field crickets. Proc R Soc B 275:1975-1983
  • Maroja LS, Andrés JA, Harrison RG (2009). Genealogical discordance and patterns of introgression and selection across a cricket hybrid zone. Evolution 63:2999-3015
  • Geiler KA, Harrison RG (2010) A Δ11 desaturase gene genealogy reveals two divergent allelic classes within the European corn borer (Ostrinia nubilalis). BMC Evol Biol 10:112

Presentation Video:

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Poster (PDF):