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Genetic constraints and the evolution of sigmodontine rodents

Grant number: 19/02691-7
Support type:Scholarships abroad - Research Internship - Post-doctor
Effective date (Start): June 06, 2019
Effective date (End): June 05, 2020
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Genetics - Quantitative Genetics
Principal Investigator:Gabriel Henrique Marroig Zambonato
Grantee:Bárbara Maria de Andrade Costa
Supervisor abroad: Scott Steppan
Home Institution: Instituto de Biociências (IB). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Paulo , SP, Brazil
Local de pesquisa : Florida State University, United States  
Associated to the scholarship:15/16598-8 - Cranial evolution of sigmodontine rodents Wagner, 1843, BP.PD


A great challenge in evolutionary biology is to understand how complex morphological structures arise and change during evolution. The genetic covariance structure among elements (G-matrix) in a system comprises one of the most important factors determining the evolutionary trajectory and the pace of a suite of traits in a population. If G is stable, then it can be used to predict the future trajectory of phenotypes in response to selection and to reconstruct the net directional selection gradients along the evolutionary history of a certain group. In sigmodontine rodents, empirical studies over G encompass low phylogenetic levels and exhibited mixed results about G similarity within and between species. Here, we will (1) understand how similar the genetic covariance structure is within and among species and how widespread the similarity of structure of G and P can be in the sigmodontine radiation; and (2) we will evaluate the genetic constraints and the patterns of phenotypic diversification in the Sigmodontinae radiation. For this, we will have four G-matrices of sigmodontine species providing the broadest data set of the additive genetic covariance matrices of closely related species to apply in a broad-scale study of phenotypic evolution in mammals. Coupled with this, phenotypic matrices comprising all Sigmodontinae tribes will be provided.