Gene flow and chromosome rearrangements in Carex scoparia

My work in the area of chromosome rearrangements and gene flow addresses a question of fundamental biological importance: what role does chromosome evolution play in the formation of new species and in population genetic structure within species? Chromosomes in the genus Carex undergo rapid rearrangements both within and between species, due in part to the fact that the chromosomes are holocentric (meaning that centromeric activity is distributed along the entire chromosome rather than localized in a solitary centromere per chromosome, allowing chromosome breakages during meiosis to resolve in viable gametes with an increased chromosome number). The potential role of chromosome evolution in suppressing recombination has not been evaluated in an organism with holocentric chromosomes. Because of the enormous species diversity and chromosomal lability in the genus, as well as the fact that holocentric chromosomes have evolved independently in numerous unrelated groups, Carex is an excellent system for studying the role of chromosome evolution in species diversification.

This project has several components:

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