Date of this Version
University of Nebraska-Lincoln, UCARE, Spring 2016 Research Fair Poster.
The purpose of this research project is to better understand speciation -- the process by which new species arise. To better understand how species form we will investigate how reproductive barriers come about-specifically the sterility of hybrid offspring will be the focus of this research. The species under investigation are Drosophila mauritiana and D. simulans that produce sterile hybrid males. These species are used specifically because they produce fertile hybrid females which allow genes to be moved between them. There are also published genome sequences for both species, which makes it is easier to identify candidate genes. These species are also easy to store, manage and cross to make hybrids. A genetic approach will be used in order to locate the genes responsible for male sterility. Specifically, we seek to identify genes from D. mauritiana, that cause male sterility when they are placed in D. simulans. This sterility results from hybrid problems in male reproductive tissues, specifically an inability to produce sperm. This research will focus on a specific region of the X-chromosome called 2P3, where two P-elements mark the D. mauritiana DNA that causes sterility.