Here we propose to integrate next-generation sequencing (NGS) technologies into studies of the evolution of chemical defense in poison frogs. From a phylogenetic standpoint, the integration of NGS technologies into phylogenetic systematics promises to lead to more severely tested and complete hypotheses and provide new options for studying the evolution of chemical defense in amphibians. From a genomics perspective, comparative analysis of poison frogs and other anurans has great potential to identify the genetic changes that underly the molecular basis of amphibian chemical defense (i.e., lipophilic alkaloid sequestration and physiological resistance), which will point to new directions for future research. In this context, we will employ NGS (Illumina® HiSeqTM 2000) to generate six complete nuclear genomes from anuran amphibians with focus on poison frogs. These data will be employed to (1) search for specific genomic features potentially implicated in alkaloid sequestration and/or resistance in poison frogs and (2) design probe sets for target enrichment to allow us to use NGS methods to generate data for phylogenetic analysis of amphibians at different levels of divergence.
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