This proposal addresses an important issue in population genetics, namely, the antagonistic effects of natural selection and migration on evolutionary processes in species with population structure. It is relevant to Integrated Pest Management (IPM) and biodiversity conservation management. Adaptation to the local environment is a fundamental process in pesticide resistance acquisition by pest species, but migration between fragmented populations may slow down this process. Therefore, this project will explore the interactions between gene flow, population demography and genetic differentiation in strains of the red flour beetle, Tribolium castaneum. The red flour beetle is a widely-distributed pest of stored products and it is well known for the ability to rapidly develop tolerance to chemicals. This project will measure degrees of phenotypic and genetic differentiation between strains of beetles simultaneously exposed to different levels of insecticide and of migration. Neutral genetic markers (microsatellites) will be used to examine genetic divergence between strains. It will identify the specific genome regions that are responsible for pesticide tolerance. Important questions for future IPM management will be answered, namely, whether migration slows down the evolution of resistance, and whether resistance is a dominant character. The project is a logical continuation of a previous collaborative project of the fellow and the host Institute on the population structure and evolution of resistance to heavy metals in a ground beetle. A major objective of the project will be to provide further training for the fellow so that she will develop herself and fulfill her potential as an independent researcher. This includes advanced professional experience in several areas of biological science, project management and communication skills. The ultimate goal is for her to return to her home country Poland and continue her promising professional career.
Field of science
- /natural sciences/biological sciences/biodiversity conservation
- /natural sciences/biological sciences/zoology/entomology
- /natural sciences/biological sciences/genetics and heredity
- /social sciences/sociology/demography
Call for proposal
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