The Grosberg Lab
College of Biological Sciences
Center for Population Biology
4349 Storer Hall
(530) 752-1114



> Research Interests & Currents Projects
Evolution and genetics of self/nonself recognition systems

Virtually all plants, fungi, and animals have self-nonself recognition systems that mediate the nature and outcomes of reproductive and somatic interactions between conspecifics. These allorecognition systems typically exhibit exceptional specificity, and presumably corresponding high levels of genetic polymorphism (i.e., allotypic diversity), sometimes exceeding by an order of magnitude levels of variation found at almost all other polymorphic loci.

A major theme of my research over the last decade concerns identification of the selective forces, including the control of fusion and inbreeding, that maintain this variation. Contrary to findings in some vertebrates, our recent work on the sea squirt Botryllus schlosseri and the hydroid Hydractinia symbiolongicarpus, suggests that evolution of extraordinary allorecognition polymorphism can occur in the absence of any detectable effect on the mating system. Instead, the regulation of fusion and aggression appear to predominate.

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