Friday seminar: The maintenance of sexually antagonistic variation – lots of opportunities, but what are the costs?

By Colin Olito from Lund University, Sweden.

Portrait of Colin Olito.

Colin Olito. Photo from Lund University, Sweden.


To persist in the long term, populations must adapt to their environment. Yet, genetic constraints on adaptation can arise as a consequence of conflicting selection and gene-flow between different classes of individuals, or more generally, when there are genetic trade-offs between fitness components. One particularly interesting form of genetic fitness trade-off is sexually antagonistic selection (SA), where beneficial alleles for one sex are deleterious when expressed in the other. Such fitness trade-offs have fascinating evolutionary consequences: On the one hand, they provide an effective mechanism for the maintenance of genetic variation, which influences a population’s capacity for future adaptation; On the other hand, they prevent individuals (or classes of individuals) from reaching their phenotypic optimum, which can increase a population’s overall extinction risk. In this seminar, I will discuss some recent collaborative work I have been involved in which aims to quantify the demographic costs associated with SA polymorphism in both dioecious (i.e., separate sexes) and partially selfing hermaphrodite populations. By linking theoretical models with empirical demographic data, we hope to shed new light on how selection and life-history may shape the nature and extent of SA genetic variation observed in natural populations.


Dr. Colin Olito from Lund University, Sweden. Visit Colin Olito's profile in Lund University Research portal.

Opportunity to talk to the speaker

After the seminar, there will be opportunity to talk to the speaker personally. Should you wish to use this opportunity, let us know beforehand so that we can notify the speaker. (Contact Bastiaan Star).

Zoom link

The zoom link has been shared through the CEES seminar mailing list. Contact us if you would like to be forwarded the invitation e-mail or to subscribe to the list. (Contact Tore Wallem).

Published Apr. 12, 2021 10:30 PM - Last modified May 18, 2021 2:59 PM