William T. Starmer

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BACKGROUND Identifying traits that reproductively isolate species, and the selective forces underlying their divergence, is a central goal of evolutionary biology and speciation research. There is growing recognition that postcopulatory sexual selection, which can drive rapid diversification of interacting ejaculate and female reproductive tract traits that(More)
The nucleotide sequence of the red-sensitive visual pigment gene, R007Af, in the fish Astyanax fasciatus, from the initiation codon to the stop codon of this gene, including introns, is 1,592 bp, making it the shortest visual pigment gene known in vertebrates. Analysis of this and other homologous sequence data suggests that vertebrates initially had two(More)
Postcopulatory sexual selection favours males which are strong offensive and defensive sperm competitors. As a means of identifying component traits comprising each strategy, we used an experimental evolution approach. Separate populations of Drosophila melanogaster were selected for enhanced sperm offence and defence. Despite using a large outbred(More)
The Adh locus in Drosophila species which are members of the repleta group contains products of one or two duplication events. In all species examined to date one of the Adh genes is now a pseudogene, since mutations have rendered these genes incapable of being translated into a functional alcohol dehydrogenase. These pseudogenes contain introns in the(More)
Examination of the relative frequency of occurrence of alternative synonymous codons for any one amino acid (codon usage) for proteins within and among species suggests that codon usage pattern is a significant component of both genomic expression and expression of individual genes. This generalization implies a functional role of codon usage and that(More)
Results of intrapopulation studies of sexual selection and genetic variation and covariation underlying elements of the sex comb of Drosophila bipectinata are presented. The magnitude of the sex comb, a sexual ornament, varies significantly among Australasian populations, motivating research into the evolutionary mechanisms responsible for its incipient(More)
Fluctuating asymmetry (subtle departures from identical expression of a trait across an axis of symmetry) in many taxa is under stabilizing selection for reduced asymmetry. However, lack of reliable estimates of genetic parameters for asymmetry variation hampers our ability to predict the evolutionary outcome of this selection. Here we report on a study,(More)
Members of species of the mulleri and hydei subgroups of the repleta group of Drosophila have duplicate Adh genes. The Adh regions of D. mojavensis, D. mulleri, and D. hydei contain three genes--a pseudogene, Adh-2, and Adh-1--arranged 5' to 3'. To understand the evolution of the triplicate Adh structure, we have cloned and sequenced the Adh locus of D.(More)
Post-copulatory sexual selection (PSS), fuelled by female promiscuity, is credited with the rapid evolution of sperm quality traits across diverse taxa. Yet, our understanding of the adaptive significance of sperm ornaments and the cryptic female preferences driving their evolution is extremely limited. Here we review the evolutionary allometry of(More)
Establishing genotype-phenotype relationship is the key to understand the molecular mechanism of phenotypic adaptation. This initial step may be untangled by analyzing appropriate ancestral molecules, but it is a daunting task to recapitulate the evolution of non-additive (epistatic) interactions of amino acids and function of a protein separately. To adapt(More)