Gerald Wilkinson
Faculty Member
University of Maryland
College Park, Maryland USA

Areas of Expertise:
Evolutionary genetics, behavioral ecology

Research Organisms:
Diopsid stalk-eyed flies


Research Focus:

Stalk-eyed flies are being used as a model system for studying the evolution of sexually selected traits. Our recent empirical and theoretical results have surprisingly implicated meiotic drive as a potent evolutionary agent which can catalyze sexual selection. Using quantitative trait locus studies we have shown that sex-linked genes that influence a sexually selected trait are linked to genes causing sex chromosome meiotic drive. By hybridizing genomic DNA to custom Agilent microarrays we also discovered that stalk-eyed flies contain a neo-X chromosome and that genes have moved both onto and off of this chromosome. We are currently using transcriptome and genome sequence information to identify lineage specific (i.e. novel) genes and infer how their expression has evolved among different species of flies.

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