Evolution of Sex Chromosomes

In many Drosophila species, autosomes have fused to the ancestral sex chromosome pair very recently which then evolve exactly like sex chromosomes. These particular so-called ’neo-sex’ systems are unique models to study fundamental questions like how X and Y chromosomes change their sequence feature and expression level during their divergence from each other, how are the processes dictated by chromosome-wide epigenetic regulatory changes, how dosage compensation evolves etc. These questions are usually very difficult to address in the classic model systems like human and Drosophila melanogaster, whose sex chromosomes are too old to study.

Dr. Qi Zhou received a European Research Council starting grant in 2016, which allows him to study evolution of chromatin structure and small RNAs in Drosophila in the Department of Molecular Evolution and Development. He has broad interest in evolutionary genomics, and use cutting-edge sequencing technology and bioinformatic tools to study evolution of sex chromosomes and sex determination mechanisms in many species including Drosophila.

July 2015-now: Professor at Zhejiang University, China

June 2009-June 2015: Postdoctoral Scholar at University of California, Berkeley. Advisor: Prof. Doris Bachtrog

September 2003-July 2008: PhD at Chinese Academy of Sciences. Advisor: Prof. Wen Wang