RSVP - Science at Breakfast
Thursday, September 14, 2017
Breakfast at 7:00 a.m.
Lecture at 7:30 a.m.
Genomic Conflicts and the Origins of Species
Nitin Phadnis, Assistant Professor, Department of Biology
Speciation, the process by which one species splits into two, involves the evolution of reproductive barriers such as the sterility or death of hybrids between previously interbreeding populations. Even in his masterpiece “On The Origin of Species”, Darwin could find no satisfactory solution to the apparent paradox of why natural selection would tolerate the onset of genetic barriers such as hybrid sterility and in viability that diminish the prospect of successful reproduction and, therefore, termed this problem the "mystery of mysteries”. Here, I describe the key developments with new genomics and cell biological approaches that are rapidly changing our understanding of the molecular basis of speciation. Our studies of the cellular and developmental anomalies in inter-species hybrids also provide surprising insights into the otherwise hidden evolutionary conflicts that ultimately shape the architecture of our genomes, cells and species.