Sex chromosomes, their differentiation and role in speciation belong to the most intriguing questions of evolutionary genetics. It was proposed that comparison of patterns in sex chromosome evolution between male and female heterogametic taxa could be informative for identification of general features of this process. Moths and buttedlies (Lepidoptera) represent the most speciose lineage with female heterogamety (WZ/ZZ). Unlike in other WZ/ZZ taxa, sex chromosome-autosome fusions are common in Lepidoptera, which makes them ideal model system for investigations into establishment and differentiation of neo-sex chromosomes. The present project combines cytogenetic and genomic approaches to test the role of sexual antagonism in turnover of lepidopteran sex chromosomes and examine genomic changes underlying degeneration of neo-W chromosomes as it is observed at the cytological level. Furthermore, we test the role of lepidopteran neo-sex chromosomes in reproductive isolation between chromosome races.
Nguyen Petr RNDr. Ph.D.
Katedra molekulární biologie a genetiky