Reproductive barriers play a crucial role in hindering gene exchange between diverging species, helping to maintain species integrity. While numerous studies have explored the genomic landscape of speciation in select organisms from the plant and animal kingdoms, our objective is to shed light on the genetic bases of reproductive isolation in another major eukaryotic supergroup – the brown algae (Phaeophyceae).
Genomic barriers to gene flow
Sex chromosomes in speciation
From loci to causative mutations
The advancement of genome sequencing technologies has not only facilitated the exploration of genetic architecture but has also enabled the identification of variant sites driving adaptation and speciation in natural populations. Unraveling the genetic foundations of phenotypic diversification and speciation in these populations is essential for addressing questions about the constraints on evolutionary processes and whether they occur gradually or rapidly. We employ a combination of studies on wild populations and controlled laboratory crosses to study the genetic underpinnings of post-mating viability and fertility. Through this approach, we aim to pinpoint genomic regions and genes potentially implicated in hybrid incompatibilities, encompassing morphological and transcriptional traits such as gametophyte sterility, diminished fertility, and developmental abnormalities.