I am currently researching the evolution of a selfish genetic element. Such elements (genes, for example) increase their own fitness, but—in contrast to “normal” elements—not the fitness of their “host”. To understand this relationship, it is important to take the organism's and the element's perspective. I am focussed on one particular selfish element in house mice, the t haplotype. The chromosome that carries this element is transmitted to the next generation more often than usual (> 50%). At the same time, it has negative fitness effects on the mouse that carries it: the sperm are less mobile and carrying the element on both chromosomes is lethal (such a mouse will not be born). Therefore, the fitness of this element is very limited under some circumstances and very high under others. Furthermore, this element is rather old (two million years), present around the globe, and spans half a chromosome in size. This makes for a fascinating study system for evolutionary questions: What traits were selected in the element? How did it survive for so long? What genes are affected and how do they differ from “normal” mice?
Steroid hormones in hair reveal sexual maturity and competition in wild house mice (Mus musculus domesticus). Carlitz E. H. D., Runge J.-N., König B., Winkler L., Kirschbaum C., Gao W. & Lindholm, A. K., Scientific Reports9, 16925; doi: 10.1038/s41598-019-53362-4
Carrying a selfish genetic element predicts increased migration propensity in free-living wild house mice. Runge J.-N. & Lindholm A. K., Proc. Roy. Soc. B285, 20181333; doi: 10.1098/rspb.2018.1333, formerly bioRxiv 271247
"Discovery of a Selfish Supergene's Dispersal Phenotype in House Mice", 45m, Evolution Seminar. Bielefeld, DE
"A selfish supergene increases dispersal in wild house mice", 15m, Evolution 2019. Providence, RI, USA
"Selection on selfishness: The fitness of a selfish genetic element in different densities of wild house mice", 15m, Meeting of the German Zoological Society (DZG). Greifswald, DE
"Increased migration/dispersal propensity in +/t mice?", 15m, "Resistance to Gene Drive" workshop. Arolla, CH
"A selfish supergene in house mice that manipulates behaviour?", 45m, EvoLunch at IST. Vienna, AT
"Selfish manipulation of migration propensity in house mice", 15m, biology18. Neuchatel, CH
"A parasitic genetic element manipulates migration propensity in wild house mice", 15m, Meeting of the German Zoological Society (DZG). Bielefeld, DE
"The t haplotype: A selfish genetic element that manipulates migration propensity in its carrier?", 15m, BEHAVIOUR. Estoril, PT
"The t haplotype: A selfish genetic element that manipulates migration propensity in its carrier?", 15m, International Wild House Mouse Meeting. Zurich, CH
"The t haplotype: A selfish genetic element that modifies migration propensity in its carrier?", 30m, Zurich Interaction Seminar. Zurich, CH
"A Selfish Genetic Element Predicts Emigration in a
Free-Living House Mouse Population", 15m, biology17. Basel, CH
"A Selfish Genetic Element Predicts Emigration in a
Free-Living House Mouse Population", 15m, Behaviour, Ecology, Environment and Evolution Seminar. Zurich, CH
"How has a selfish genetic element shaped the house mouse genome?", 15m, University of Zurich URPP "Evolution in Action" Retreat. Sachseln, CH
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