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K-State Today

October 29, 2021

Yasir Ahmed-Braimah to present Division of Biology Seminar

Submitted by Division of Biology

Yasir Ahmed-Braimah, assistant professor of biology at Syracuse University, will present his research, "The Genomic Basis and Molecular Mechanisms of Reproductive Isolation," as part of the Division of Biology Seminar Series at 3:30 p.m. Monday, Nov. 1, via Zoom.

One of the fundamental problems in evolutionary biology is to understand the molecular genetic basis of speciation. In the handful of cases where the genetic mechanisms of reproductive isolation have been elucidated, these invariably tackle post-zygotic reproductive barriers. This means that we still lack a general understanding of the molecular processes that govern pre-zygotic reproductive barriers, even though these are often important early in the speciation process. Ahmed-Braimah's lab seeks to identify the molecular genetic basis of pre-zygotic reproductive isolation between members of the Drosophila virilis species subgroup. This species group provides an especially unique opportunity to dissect the genetic and molecular mechanisms of pre-zygotic barriers, as members of this group are prone to evolve these types of barriers quickly between species and even among populations of the same species. Our overall approach integrates several strategies to answer the following questions: What are the genetic mechanisms that cause reproductive isolation between species? Which molecular and cellular processes are affected by divergence of these genetic mechanisms? What are the evolutionary forces that drive divergence of the relevant genes between species? What is the landscape of natural genetic variation within and between species that facilitates evolutionary divergence of these genes?

If you would like to visit with Ahmed-Braimah, please contact Michi Tobler at tobler@k-state.edu