The model system in my lab is the Speckled wood butterfly, Pararge aegeria, for which we collect data on phenotypic variation in reproductive success under a range of environmental conditions. In order to understand the genetic variation, and the interaction with environmental factors, underlying such reproductive variation, we investigate the developmental genetic regulation of oogenesis. Such studies are crucial in elucidating, for example, life-history trade-offs, maternal effects of all kinds, setting up offspring body axes, and oocyte pathology. Furthermore, oogenesis is a popular model system for studying epigenetic programming, stem cell behaviour, cell cycle regulation and developmental patterning mechanisms.
CRISPR/Cas9 as the Key to Unlocking the Secrets of Butterfly Wing Pattern Development and Its Evolution