Understanding the genetic basis of phenotypic variation remains one of the major challenges in biology. Linkage mapping provides means to identify genes that underlie ecologically important traits, such as colour polymorphisms, and this can be used to study the fitness consequences of variation at these loci. Genetic linkage maps are expected to become increasingly applied to ecological model organisms given their important role in linking phenotype to genotype, and the possibilities for using the results to address unanswered evolutionary and ecological questions. In the proposed project, my objectives are to 1) construct the first linkage map for an Odonate insect, I. elegans, 2) map the female-limited colour polymorphism in the species and develop a specific marker that can be used to genotype males and larvae in which the colour polymorphisms is not expressed, and lastly 3) use the novel microsatellites and the linkage map to evaluate the importance of gene flow and dispersal in the maintenance of this polymorphism in natural populations of I. elegans. In line with the objectives of the Marie Curie actions, I will get advanced scientific training in molecular genomics which will greatly increase my research value and career perspectives. With the combination of novel molecular technology and ecological research, my project will contribute to enhance EU’s scientific excellence in evolutionary biology and molecular genetics. Following the objectives of the work programme, my project links genotypes to phenotypes and will therefore provide the potential to identify and study the genetic basis of those traits affecting fitness that are key to natural selection in I. elegans. The research collaborations with people in Sweden, the Netherlands and Spain will provide opportunities to exchange ideas with several researchers active within my research field and initiate long-term international collaborations.
Fields of science
Call for proposal
See other projects for this call