Title

Sexual Dimorphism: Why and How Male Ostracods Have Their Eyes

Poster Number

30

Lead Author Major

Biochemistry and Biological Sciences

Format

Poster Presentation

Faculty Mentor Name

Ajna Rivera

Faculty Mentor Department

Biological Sciences

Abstract/Artist Statement

We study the evolution and development of sexual dimorphism. Our model is the genus Euphilomedes, an ostracod crustacean. These animals display sexual dimorphism in their eye phenotypes. Males have large image-forming eyes, while females have only rudimentary eyes. The focus of our research is why and how males have eyes. Previous studies have shown that even though both males and females live primarily burrowed in the sand, males spend more time in the water column than females do. The difference in niche means that males are exposed to more predators than females. They use their eyes, at least in part, for predator evasion. However, this does not preclude the possibility that males use their eyes for finding mates. To test this, we plan on performing mating competition experiments followed by paternity tests using SNP analysis. To that end, we have done a bioinformatics analysis of the E. carcharodonta transcriptome to find potential SNPs, which we are currently testing. The other half of this project is how male and female eyes develop differently. To study this, we are cloning genes involved in eye development and function and comparing their expression patterns across different developmental stages in males vs. females.

Location

DeRosa University Center, Ballroom

Start Date

26-4-2014 2:00 PM

End Date

26-4-2014 4:00 PM

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Apr 26th, 2:00 PM Apr 26th, 4:00 PM

Sexual Dimorphism: Why and How Male Ostracods Have Their Eyes

DeRosa University Center, Ballroom

We study the evolution and development of sexual dimorphism. Our model is the genus Euphilomedes, an ostracod crustacean. These animals display sexual dimorphism in their eye phenotypes. Males have large image-forming eyes, while females have only rudimentary eyes. The focus of our research is why and how males have eyes. Previous studies have shown that even though both males and females live primarily burrowed in the sand, males spend more time in the water column than females do. The difference in niche means that males are exposed to more predators than females. They use their eyes, at least in part, for predator evasion. However, this does not preclude the possibility that males use their eyes for finding mates. To test this, we plan on performing mating competition experiments followed by paternity tests using SNP analysis. To that end, we have done a bioinformatics analysis of the E. carcharodonta transcriptome to find potential SNPs, which we are currently testing. The other half of this project is how male and female eyes develop differently. To study this, we are cloning genes involved in eye development and function and comparing their expression patterns across different developmental stages in males vs. females.