Evolution of morphology

male and female morphologyDr. Yoder’s lab uses the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster to learn how genetic changes have been responsible for the evolution of diverse animal forms. He looks at how altered gene expression (when and where genes are turned on or off) has shaped the fly’s abdomen. For example, male Drosophila have fewer segments in their abdomen than females. But in other flies, like mosquitoes, segment number is the same in both sexes.

Understanding what kinds of genetics changes are responsible for the difference in segment number can provide important information about general processes of animal evolution. Work from his lab on this subject was recently published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Click here to visit Dr. Yoder’s web page.