Pallavi Chauhan

Pallavi Chauhan

Affiliated with the university

Personal profile


Research interests

My primary research interest is genetics of sex differences which includes evolution of sexual dimorphism and sex chromosomes (SCs) evolution. Sexual dimorphism is a condition where males and females of same species display different phenotypes. The sexually dimorphic phenotypic traits includes size (cruscian carp), weight, colour (Ishnura elegans) and may also include behavioural and cognitive differences. My research also focusses on understanding the evolution of SCs taking into account newly formed (young) SCs as in some birds and plants. I utilize my knowledge and skills in next generation sequence data analysis, genomics, transcriptomics and genome-wide association studies (GWAS) to bridge genotype to phenotype and genomics to evolution. Currently, i am involved in projects:

Sexual dimorphism in damselflies: Ischnura elegans belongs to ancient insect order Odonata and acts a perfect model organism to study Odonata not only because it integrates evolution and ecology but also provides a platform to study sexual selection and sexual conflicts in the wild. I. elegans shows female limited colour polymorphism, where males are monomorphic in colour but females occurs in three different colours; male mimicking androchrome morph, more cryptic infuscans and infuscans-obsoleta. Here, we have studied sex-biased gene expression and established colour and sex-determining pathways. Now, with the availability of the draft genome we are trying to identify the colour locus, SCs and molecular mechanism of dosage compensation.

Predator induced morphological changes in fish: The crucian carp is a member of the carp family Cyprinidae. In presence of predators, like pikes, crucian carp develops into deeper bodied form from sleeker form, forming a perfect disc shape with well-rounded fins, making it difficult for the predators to swallow them. Here, we are trying to understand the mechanism of size dimorphism using differential gene expression.

Evolution of neo-sex chromosomes in birds: Recently, in Sylvioidea passerine birds a new SC has been identified (a neo-sex chromosome). The neo-sex chromosome is formed by a fusion of an autosome and the ancestral sex chromosome. Here, we are trying to study the evolution of SCs by characterizing the neo-sex chromosome in terms of gene degradation, sex-biased expression and dosage compensation.

Evolution of SCs in plants: In many organisms, sexual reproduction has led to the evolution of separate sexes, but in angiosperm plants still only 6% of the species are dioecious with male and female flowers in separate individuals. Plants have very young SCs. Here, we aim to study the evolution of SCs in Swedish plants beginning with identification of SCs, mechanism of sex-determination, gene degradation, sex-biased expression and dosage compensation in Valeriana dioica and Rumex acetosella.

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 13 - Climate Action


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Collaborations the last five years

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