Reproductive isolation and speciation in the brown algae

Project leader: Aga Lipinska

Studies of reproductive isolation hold the key to our understanding of how new species are formed. Numerous reproductive barriers evolve during the speciation process, including pre-mating and post-mating incompatibilities between diverging species. Post-mating barriers are often attributed to negative epistatic interactions between genetic elements in the hybrid offspring and empirical evidence suggests that sex chromosomes play an important role in this interplay. Aga Lipinska is leading the effort to characterise the role of sex chromosomes in postzygotic isolation, to identify the causative genomic regions and to carry out evolutionary analyses of the genes underlying hybrid incompatibility in brown algal species.