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Evolution, behaviour and genomics of sexually selected colour polymorphisms

Much of our past and current work has focused on enigmatic sex-limited colour polymorphism in Ischnura-damselflies (Odonata: Zygoptera). This genus is known for the existence of heritable colour polymorphisms. These colour polymorphisms are expressed only in females, and have a relatively simple basis of this polymorphism (i. e. one locus or a set of tightly linked loci). We have studied frequency-dependent mating interactions, mating harassment, spatial variation, biogeography and temporal dynamics of these female morphs using field experiments and observations, population genetic modeling and molecular data. Our recent research in this system suggests that frequency-dependent sexual conflict drives the rapid evolutionary dynamics of this polymorphism. We are now further investigating the genomic and genetic basis of this transspecies polymorphism through next-generation DNA-sequencing techniques. We are also inferring the strength and mode of frequency-dependent selection using our time-series and population genetic analysis of evolutionary trajectories in field populations.

Colour polymorphism Ischnura

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