Discovery Grant Research

Both animal and plant kingdoms independently and repeatedly evolved sex chromosomes. Despite the discovery of sex chromosomes ~100 yrs ago, our knowledge of the basis of sex chromosome structure
and sex determination of the majority of organisms is poor (except, of course, Homo sapiens, Mus, Drosophila and C. elegans). Thus, I propose to study the reproductive biology and ecological genetics of sexuality in dioecious plants.

Our research will be addressed primarily using Cannabis sativa, an annual, dioecious plant with significant economic importance for Canada. This
species is arguably the most understudied Canadian crop of significant economic importance and thus offers the potential for deep academic advances in basic biology.

The proposed research is innovative in a number of respects: it offers
insights into fundamental questions in evolutionary biology such as the role of Y-chromosomes in dioecious populations, the processes by which sex expression can be altered, and the fitness consequences
of fluid sex expression; and it will attempt to address the long standing question about causes of dimorphic phenotypic expression and the effect of ploidy variation on sex expression

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