The evolutionary genetics of conspicuous polymorphisms in Soay sheep

Friday seminar by Jon Slate


Identifying the molecular basis of phenotypic variation is a critical step in understanding how genetic variation is maintained. In this talk I will present work on the genetics of two single locus polymorphisms in a wild population of Soay sheep, on St Kilda, Scotland. The population is one of the most intensively studied mammal populations in the world; this, combined with a dramatically fluctuating population size makes Soay sheep an excellent system for studying selection and evolution in the natural environment. The genetics of  coat colour and coat pattern polymorphisms have now been resolved to the level of individual mutations. In this talk I will describe how these genes were mapped, and how this insight has facilitated studies of selection and microevolution of these traits. Finally, I will discuss how the polymorphisms arose in the population.

Jon Slate
Department of Animal & Plant Sciences
University of Sheffield
Western Bank
S10 2TN


Published Feb. 8, 2012 10:15 AM - Last modified Nov. 27, 2015 2:46 PM