The size and shape of a complex organ is defined during its development by the action of gene regulatory networks, which ensure the tightly controlled expression of developmental genes. Changes in the function and regulation of those genes during development account for variation in various morphological traits. We combine genomics, quantitative genetics, developmental genetics and geometric morphometrics approaches to identify the molecular changes underlying morphological evolution in flies, beetles and spiders.
Drosophila melanogaster, D. mauritiana, D. simulans, D. americana, D. novamexicana, Tribolium castaneum, Gnatocerus cornutus, Parasteatoda tepidariorum.
Functional genetics, RNA interference, immunohistology, geometric morphometrics, RNAseq, de novo transcriptome assembly, comparative genomics, gene expression.