May 12, 2021 | 16h00-17h00 | Zoom

Speaker: Dr. Zena Hadjivasiliou (UNIGE)

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12.05.2021 | 16h00-17h00 | Zena Hadjivasiliou, UniGE
The evolution of sexual differentiation

The two partners required for sexual reproduction are rarely the same. This pattern extends to species which lack sexual dimorphism yet possess self-incompatible gametes determined at mating-type regions of suppressed recombination, likely precursors of sex chromosomes. In this seminar I will argue that the interactions between cells required for sexual fusion are optimized when cells communicate asymmetrically. I will show that under selection for robust signaling between mating cells and fast mating, cells that belong to different mating type groups evolve. I will discuss how these findings can help explain other key features of the sexual lives of unicellular organisms like the number of mating types, the ability of some cells to switch their mating type identity stochastically and the emergence of sex chromosomes.


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The aim of TheBioNet is to build a community of researchers working on diverse topics in mathematical and theoretical biology in Western Switzerland. Every semester we are holding seminars every two weeks where we have invited researchers from Western Switzerland working in theoretical and mathematical biology.