Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

FP7

FishSpeciationGenome Report Summary

Project ID: 302957
Funded under: FP7-PEOPLE
Country: Spain

Periodic Report Summary 1 - FISHSPECIATIONGENOME (Fish Speciation and the Origin of Marine Biodiversity: A Comparative Genomics Approach)

The FishSpeciationGenome Project (http://www.calacademy.org/scientists/projects/fishspeciationgenome-research-project) seeks to address key evolutionary questions pertaining to the evolution of reef fishes.
The mechanisms by which one species divides into two during the course of evolution are still unknown. The best understood mechanism is that by which two groups of individuals of the same species become isolated and evolve independently until they accumulate enough differences to be considered different species. In terrestrial organisms this can happen when, for example, two land masses get separated through tectonic movements or sea level rises. However, coral reef fishes and other marine organisms defy this view, because geographic barriers in the oceans are scarce and their initial life stages (eggs and larvae) can drift with oceanic currents over vast geographic areas. Yet, coral reefs are incredible diverse and harbor over 25% of the marine species.
The aim of the FishSpeciationGenome is to investigate the mechanisms of speciation by sequencing the genomes of a species complex of Pygmy Angelfishes (genus Centropyge). Species in this complex are delineated by color and have overlapping geographic distribution. Interestingly, species that were isolated during low sea level stands, now overlap in certain areas and hybridize. A related aspect of our work is to investigate the genomic mechanisms that maintain species barriers and prevent that these species fuse back into one after secondary contact, as well as achieving a broader understanding of the evolutionary consequences of hybridization in the wild. The recent discovery of two regions in the tropical Indo-Pacific with high prevalence of hybrid fishes highlight the need for a thorough examination of reticulate evolution in this group.
We also expect to obtain information on the genetic processes by which color differences evolve in coral coral reef fishes, a trait for which nothing is virtually known in spite of the relevant role it plays in the diversification of this group.
Our work will not only help us understand key processes in evolution but is also relevant for the conservation of marine biodiversity and management of marine resources.

Contact

Anxo Moreira González, (Project Manager)
Tel.: +34 986 812052
Fax: +34 986 813919
E-mail
Record Number: 182258 / Last updated on: 2016-05-24
Information source: SESAM