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.
Department of Animal & Plant Sciences
University of Sheffield