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Postdoc project "The genetic basis of hybrid incompatibility in Lepidopterans".

Main supervisor: Astrid T. Groot

Hybrid incompatibility (HI), the inviability or sterility of interspecific hybrids, is a ubiquitous phenomenon that hinders the genetic exchange between species. Thus, by acting as a reproductive isolation barrier, HI plays an important role in speciation. Several genes causing HI have been recently identified and characterized in Drosophila and even in higher taxa. HI in lepidopterans however has hardly been studied on a molecular level.

The aim of the project is to reveal the genetic basis of hybrid incompatibility (HI) in hybrids between Heliothis virescens and H. subflexa as well as in hybrids between two distinct host strains of Spodoptera frugiperda. Via classical mapping techniques and next-generation sequencing, the planned comparative approach will not only fill the aforesaid gap but will significantly contribute to our understanding of the evolution of reproductive isolation in one of the most speciose orders in the world.


Dr. Gerhard Schöfl, HKI Jena, Germany

Sabine Hänniger

Melanie Marr
last updated on 2012-06-12