Fig Worms for Evo-Devo

Tucker Hall Room 111

What is the genetic, cellular, developmental, and evolutionary basis of phenotypic diversity? As phenotype construction has multiple causes, a satisfying understanding of phenotypic diversity ultimately requires the integration of multiple points of view. We are currently using the nematode Caenorhabditis inopinata to connect functional genetics with evolution and ecology to understand the causes of phenotypic diversity. C. inopinata can grow to be nearly twice as long as its close relatives, which include the highly-studied model organism, C. elegans. Furthermore, it thrives in the fresh figs and is associated with its pollinating wasps; figs and fig wasps together represent a classic system in evolution and ecology. C. inopinata is then well-positioned to connect multiple disciplines that aim to understand the bases of phenotypic variation. Here, I will discuss ongoing work on the evolution of stage-specific morphological evolution; the evolution of repetitive genomic landscapes; and the developmental basis of body size change.

Speaker Information

Dr. Gavin Woodruff
Assistant Professor
School of Biological Sciences
The University of Oklahoma