Luana Maroja, Biology - Butterflies

Professor Luana Maroja’s article “Partial complementarity of the mimetic yellow bar phenotype in Heliconius butterflies” was recently published in PLOS ONE and is available online at

Butterfly genome reveals promiscuous exchange of mimicry adaptations among species

Luana S. Maroja, Assistant Professor of Biology, was a contributing participant in this study of adaptive introgression in butterflies.  “The phenomenon, known as adaptive introgression, involves different species sharing genetic material and has been considered very rare, especially in animals. Although many species can interbreed in the wild, the resulting hybrids are often infertile and considered an evolutionary dead-end. However, occasionally hybrids might introduce useful genetic material that can help populations adapt to changing conditions. This source of novelty might be more effective than having to wait for a mutation to occur in order to yield a similar result. In the case of butterflies, the effects can be clearly seen on their wings.” Chris Jiggins.

Read the complete paper at: