Session 1C: Inaugural Lectures by Fellows / Associates
Exploring intersexual genomic conflict using Drosophila Melanogaster
Abstract: In promiscuous species, the evolutionary interests of males and females can diverge. Each sex can evolve characters that can increase its own Darwinian fitness but reduces the fitness of the other sex. This can lead to a Red Queen process where males and females get locked into open ended bouts of adaptation and counter adaptation. Such antagonistic co evolution can have major effects on a large number of individual traits, and can lead to speciation. Over the years, we have explored such processes using a set of well defined laboratory system of Drosophila melanogaster. Our results suggest that altering levels of intersexual competition can drive changes in traits related to life-history, immunity, behaviour, and cognition. We even find evidence of incipient speciation because of such antagonistic coevolution.