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Ecological transition and diversification in Drosophila

Grant number: 20/06238-2
Support Opportunities:Regular Research Grants
Duration: December 01, 2020 - February 29, 2024
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Genetics - Animal Genetics
Convênio/Acordo: Université de Lyon (UDL)
Principal Investigator:Claudia Marcia Aparecida Carareto
Grantee:Claudia Marcia Aparecida Carareto
Principal researcher abroad: Cristina Vieira Heddi
Institution abroad: Université Claude Bernard Lyon 1, France
Host Institution: Instituto de Biociências, Letras e Ciências Exatas (IBILCE). Universidade Estadual Paulista (UNESP). Campus de São José do Rio Preto. São José do Rio Preto , SP, Brazil
Associated researchers: Cecilia Artico Banho ; Marie Fablet


Preservation of biodiversity appears as one of the major objectives of this century policies, so that 2010 was celebrated as the year of biodiversity. As far as biodiversity is concerned, the notion of species is of fundamental interest as well as is of fundamental interest to understand the mechanism driving to speciation and how adaptation occurs in the presence of new environments. The colonization of new habitats is often accompanied by genetic and phenotypic changes. To understand such changes is of utmost importance to comprehend mechanisms leading to population diversification. Species of the Drosophila repleta group constitutes a perfect system to study environment-induced gene expression changes. With this project, we intend to identify the molecular mechanisms that led to the intra- and interspecific diversification of these species, by studying the evolutionary dynamics of genes associated with host cactus shift and genes involved in maintaining reproductive isolation between species (speciation genes). The availability of high throughput data, such as the complete sequencing of many genomes, transcriptomes or proteomes, on-line databases, as well as analytical tools developed in bioinformatics have also led to a better understanding of fundamental biological issues. Among the sequenced genomes of Drosophila species, the sibling species D. mojavensis-D. arizonae, which belong to the repleta group of the subgenus Drosophila, with other species of this group, constitute a remarkable biological system for understanding the evolutionary processes that led to reproductive incompatibility leading to speciation, and the role of ecological adaptation in speciation. Our results should contribute to the understanding of the emergence of biodiversity and eventually be used to prevent it's erosion. (AU)

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