Vilka processer skapar biodiversitet? Jämförande arbildningsgenetik i den post-genomiska eran.

Tidsperiod: 2014-01-01 till 2017-12-31

Projektledare: Jochen Wolf

Finansiär: Vetenskapsrådet

Bidragstyp: Projektbidrag

Budget: 3 200 000 SEK

Explaining the origin of biodiversity remains one of the greatest challenges to fundamental biological research. With the genomic revolution in full progress we are for the first time equipped with the necessary tools to investigate the genetic architecture of speciation at base-pair resolution. When integrated to the mature theoretical framework of the evolutionary sciences, genome-scale data will produce fundamental insights into the processes underlying speciation. Here, I identify a novel evolutionary model system - crows and ravens of the genus Corvus - and demonstrate its potential for speciation genetic and functional genomic research. Central to this system is the phylogenetically independent recurrence of a pied colour-pattern in some species that stands in contrasts to the predominant all-black plumage in the clade. Building on the idea that colour polymorphism can promote speciation through sexual selection, I choose a number of black and pied species pairs that can be positioned along a time line representing different stages of the speciation process. This comparative framework is uniquely suited to study the genetics of speciation at progressive stages of species divergence and enter the fascinating theme of parallel evolution. Using a combination of population- and phylo-genomic approaches and single sperm sequencing this research program covers novel ground in the nascent field of speciation genomic research.