We will focus in the evolution of biodiversity by using two invasive Drosophila species as model systems (D. buzzatii and D. subobscura), and will extend our know-how to also investigate conservation strategies in commercially valuable but overexploited marine species. The project proposal highlights the collaborative efforts of two productive working grups with outstanding experience in evolucionary biology (see CVs). Working group 1 has mainly studied natural selection in wild and laboratory population, and the genetic factors involved in hybrid sterility by using D. buzzatii and the closely related species D. Doepferae. D. Buzzatii is cactophilic species native from Argentina that has colonized the Mediterranean basin in historical times. Working group 2 has focused in D. subobscura, a native Palearctic species that has invaded the Americas since its first introduction in the continent around 25 years ago. This invasion has provided an exceptional natural experiment to study ongoing adaptation, which has been well documented for polymorphic inversions and body size. However, the processes urdenlying the patterns observed in nature are largely unknown. Our aims here are: (i) to study the genetic basis of thermal adaptation in D. subobscura since temperature is the obvious climate variable that changes with latitude (objective 3); (ii) to analyze microsatellite-inversion association (objective 1) for a more in depth study of clinal variation (i.e., hitchhiking vs. coadaptation); (iii) to study the expression patterns of candidate genes that map around those microsatellites that show clinal variation not due to hitchhiking by the inversion (objectives 1 and 3); and (iv) to study the gene flux among chromosomal arrangements of D. subobscura avoiding those genomic regions covered by complex overlapping inversions (objective 2). In addition, we will also study (v) the putative role of colonization in increasing genomic instability (...)
|Effective start/end date||1/10/06 → 30/09/09|
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