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Andrea Sweigart

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Ph.D. (2006) Duke University

A fundamental goal of evolutionary biology is to explain how populations become reproductively isolated species. Does speciation occur in allopatry or do populations diverge in the presence of some gene flow? What is the genetic basis of reproductive isolation? What are the evolutionary forces that create and maintain variation in speciation genes? Our research tackles these questions in a new model system: the Mimulus guttatus species complex, a group of closely related, ecologically diverse wildflowers that exhibit tremendous variation in reproductive isolation between populations and species. We use a range of approaches – from field and greenhouse experiments to genetic mapping and bioinformatics – to investigate the genetic mechanisms and evolutionary dynamics of speciation.

We are currently supported by

NSF "RESEARCH-PGR: The epigenomic selfing syndrome: revealing the impact of breeding system on epigenomes" with R. Mosher.

NSF "RoL: Rapid Evolution of Reproductive Isolation via Hybrid Seed Lethality in Mimulus" with J. Willis, R. Franks, and J. Sobel.


Research Areas:
Selected Publications:
  • Sotola VA, CS Berg, M Samuli, H Chen, SJ Mantel, P A Beardsley, YW Yuan, AL Sweigart, L Fishman. 2023. Genomic mechanisms and consequences of diverse postzygotic barriers between monkeyflower species. Genetics 225.
  • Farnitano MC and AL Sweigart. 2023. Strong postmating reproductive isolation in Mimulus section Eunanus. Journal of Evolutionary Biology 36: 1393-1410.
  • Sandstedt GB and AL Sweigart. 2022. Developmental evidence for parental conflict in driving Mimulus species barriers. New Phytologist 236: 1545-1557.
  • Sandstedt GB, CA Wu, AL Sweigart. 2021. Evolution of multiple postzygotic barriers between species of the Mimulus tilingii complex. Evolution 75: 600-613. 
  • Kerwin RE and AL Sweigart. 2020. Rampant misexpression in a Mimulus (monkeyflower) introgression line caused by hybrid sterility, not regulatory divergence. Molecular Biology and Evolution 37: 2084-2098. 
  • Mantel SJ and AL Sweigart. 2019. Divergence in drought response traits between sympatric species of Mimulus. Ecology and Evolution 9: 10291-10304. 
  • Flagel LE, BK Blackman, L Fishman, PJ Monnahan, AL Sweigart, JK Kelly. 2019. GOOGA: A a platform to synthesize mapping experiments and identify genomic structural diversity. PLoS Computational Biology 15: e1006949.
  • Sweigart AL, Y Brandvain, L Fishman. 2019. Making a murderer: on the evolutionary framing of hybrid killers. Trends in Genetics 35: 245-252.
  • Zuellig MP and Sweigart AL. 2018. A two-locus hybrid incompatibility is widespread, polymorphic, and active in natural populations of Mimulus. Evolution, 72: 2394-2405.
  • Zuellig MP and AL Sweigart. 2018. Gene duplicates cause hybrid lethality between sympatric species of Mimulus. PLoS Genetics, 14(4), p.e1007130.
  • Fishman L and Sweigart AL 2018. When Two Rights Make a Wrong: The Evolutionary Genetics of Plant Hybrid Incompatibilities. Annual Review of Plant Biology.
  • Kerwin RE and AL Sweigart. 2017. Mechanisms of transmission ratio distortion at hybrid sterility loci within and between Mimulus species. G3 7: 3719-3730.
  • Garner AG, AM Kenney, L Fishman, AL Sweigart. 2016. Genetic loci with parent of origin effects cause hybrid seed lethality between Mimulus species. New Phytologist 211: 319-331.
  • Kenney AM and AL Sweigart. 2016. Reproductive isolation and introgression between sympatric Mimulus species. Molecular Ecology 25: 2499-2517.
  • Ahmed-Braimah YH and AL Sweigart. 2015. A single gene causes an interspecific difference in pigmentation in Drosophila. Genetics 200: 331-342.
  • Sweigart AL and LE Flagel. 2015. Evidence of natural selection acting on a polymorphic hybrid incompatibility locus in Mimulus. Genetics 199: 543-554.
  • Brandvain Y*, AM Kenney*, L Flagel, G Coop†, AL Sweigart†. 2014. Speciation and introgression between Mimulus nasutus and Mimulus guttatus. PLoS Genetics 10: e1004410.
  • Zuellig MP, AM Kenney, AL Sweigart. 2014. Evolutionary genetics of plant adaptation: insights from new model systems. Curr. Opin. Plant Biol. 18: 44-50.
  • Fishman L, AL Sweigart, AM Kenney, S Campbell. 2014. Major QTLs control divergence in critical photoperiod for flowering between selfing and outcrossing species of monkeyflower (Mimulus). New Phytologist 201: 1498-1507.
Events featuring Andrea Sweigart
B118 - Life Sciences
Articles Featuring Andrea Sweigart

Congrats to Andrea Sweigart who has received a Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE). This is the highest honor given to scientists by the US Government in the early stages of their independent careers.

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