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Genome Evolution in the Animal Kingdom

Objective

Like everything in biology, the genome is a product of evolution. In our own history, mutations that duplicate genes have generated extensive multigene families and classes, including a great diversity of transcriptional regulators involved in development of cells, tissues and organs. For example, two complete genome duplication events occurred in early vertebrate evolution (known as 2R), a third genome duplication occurred at the base of teleost fish (3R), and there were extensive tandem gene duplications in placental mammals. What role did these events play in animal evolution? How do newly duplicate genes diverge in function? Why do tandem gene duplicates evolve in a different way to whole genome duplicates? The proposed research programme aims to resolve these questions. The long-term functional consequences of duplication will be examined by examining how the spectrum of target genes differs, or overlaps, between transcription factors known to have duplicated in the 2R and 3R events. To understand the earliest stages of duplicate gene evolution gene sequences and gene expression will be studied in a spectrum of animals descendent from much more recent genome duplications, including several freshwater fish and desert-living rodents. The contrast between whole genome and tandem gene duplication will be examined in parallel, through genomic and protein-engineering studies of novel homeobox genes that arose in mammalian evolution. The programme of research is novel and will create physical and knowledge-based resources relevant to genomics, evolution, development, physiology and biomedical genetics.

Field of science

  • /natural sciences/biological sciences/genetics and heredity/genome
  • /natural sciences/biological sciences/evolutionary biology
  • /natural sciences/biological sciences/freshwater biology

Call for proposal

ERC-2010-AdG_20100317
See other projects for this call

Funding Scheme

ERC-AG - ERC Advanced Grant

Host institution

THE CHANCELLOR, MASTERS AND SCHOLARS OF THE UNIVERSITY OF OXFORD
Address
Wellington Square University Offices
OX1 2JD Oxford
United Kingdom
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
EU contribution
€ 1 735 016
Principal investigator
Peter William Harold Holland (Prof.)
Administrative Contact
Stephen Conway (Dr.)

Beneficiaries (1)

THE CHANCELLOR, MASTERS AND SCHOLARS OF THE UNIVERSITY OF OXFORD
United Kingdom
EU contribution
€ 1 735 016
Address
Wellington Square University Offices
OX1 2JD Oxford
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Principal investigator
Peter William Harold Holland (Prof.)
Administrative Contact
Stephen Conway (Dr.)