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Finding the genetic cause behind facultative parthenogenesis in Drosophila

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  • UserDr Alexis Sperling (Plant-Parasite Interactions Group, Department of Plant Sciences)
  • ClockTuesday 28 November 2023, 20:30-22:00
  • HousePeterhouse Theatre.

If you have a question about this talk, please contact Reem Alhassan.

You are cordially invited to the Kelvin Club’s final talk of the term, which will take place on Tuesday 28th November. Wine, cheese, and other refreshments will be served in the Lubbock Room at Peterhouse from 8:30 pm for an 8:45 pm start. Dr Alexis Sperling will be speaking on the subject of ‘Finding the genetic cause behind facultative parthenogenesis in Drosophila’.

Until now there was limited evidence of a genetic cause underlying parthenogenesis that occurs in sexually reproducing animals, known as facultative parthenogenesis. By recapitulating changes to genes that cause parthenogenesis in a sexually reproducing species of Drosophila, we were able to engineer facultative parthenogenesis to occur. These findings indicate that facultative parthenogenesis occurs due to genetic predisposition, which can inform us about the types of selection pressure certain animals should not be exposed to.

Speaker Biography:

I completed my PhD in the Department of Zoology, University of Cambridge. My first postdoc was on centrosome elimination in Drosophila eggs and my second postdoc is the work that will be discussed ‘The genetic basis of parthenogenesis in Drosophila.’ I am now at the Centre of Crop Science working on the fundamental biology of pathogenic nematodes in order to gain insight into how we can prevent pathogenic nematode infections in crops.

Please ask for directions to the Theatre at the Peterhouse Porter’s Lodge on Trumpington St. All are welcome.

This talk is part of the Kelvin Club - Peterhouse Scientific Society series.

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