Evolutionary Biology Classics

I have collected papers 'every evolutionary biologist should read,' as crowdsourced on Twitter #EvoBioClassics, in a Mendeley group here (must log in to Mendeley first) and as a reference list here. I have PDFs for most of them - email me ( if you need one. Students in my Evolution Classics seminar: start here when choosing papers to present.

Hybrid Zone Inbred Strains

Linking genotype to phenotype and fitness in nature is the ultimate goal of most evolutionary genetics research, but is rarely accomplished in practice. Measuring fitness effects and characterizing the mechanisms of a single locus in natural or outbred populations is challenging due to genetic variability among individuals. To overcome this challenge, I am developing a panel of inbred strains derived from hybrid zone mice, which will enable characterization of quantitative trait loci identified in nature on identical genomic backgrounds. 

I established four breeding stocks from mice captured in the hybrid zone in 2008. Each stock was derived from 8-9 ancestors captured from one (FS, HA, TU) or two sampling sites (HO), and maintained with four breeding pairs per generation (using the HAN-rotation outbreeding scheme). In August 2014, I started 44 inbred lines by brother/sister mating of 8th generation lab-bred mice. Most lines are at the 5th inbred generation as of August 2015. 

My goal is to generate 10-15 inbred strains with varied hybrid genomes (see example haplotypes below). Individual lines will be used to follow up on loci identified in mapping studies by detailed phenotyping with biological replicates (starting 10th generation), and ultimately genome editing to test effects of specific alleles/mutations. Strains can be crossed for fine mapping of quantitative traits and to recapitulate specific epistatic combinations of alleles (e.g., Dobzhansky-Muller incompatibilities).