DFG FOR 1078 Natural Selection in Structured Populations

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P2 - Gene expression variation in natural populations of Drosophila

Project leader

John Parsch
LMU Munich, Evolutionary Biology

vocano_plot_jpThis project investigates local adaptation at the gene-regulatory level. The main approach is to quantify gene expression variation within and between populations and identify genes that show a large expression difference between populations, but low expression polymorphism within populations. Such genes represent candidates for those that have undergone adaptive regulatory evolution to the local environment.

In the first phase of the project, we carried out a microarray analysis to identify genes that differ in expression between an ancestral (African) and a derived (European) population of D. melanogaster. In the second phase, we will perform detailed population genetic and functional analyses of the top candidate genes in order to determine the link between genetic variation and expression variation, as well as the effect of expression variation on the organism’s phenotype. These studies will allow us to determine the precise genetic target of selection, as well as the phenotype that is under selection.