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Conservation impacts of hybridization and introgression in symbionts: Measuring the magnitude and role in shaping eco-evolutionary variables

Project description

Studying the pattern of introgression across the global tree of life

What is the role of hybridisation and introgression in the ecology, evolution and conservation biology of many taxa? How does hybridisation operate in symbionts, a group of taxa exhibiting unique eco-evolutionary trajectories and for which hybridisation has rarely been studied? To answer these questions, the EU-funded INTROSYM project will investigate the pattern of introgression across the global tree of lice, using whole-genome data from more than 500 species of feather lice. It will study the role of introgression in shaping key eco-evolutionary variables related to dispersal and host-switching, as well as the relationship between introgression levels and symbiont extinction rate.

Objective

Despite their diversity, relevance, and conservation status, fundamental aspects of the Ecology, Evolution, and Conservation Biology of symbionts are inadequately understood, especially when compared to what is known about free-living organisms. This lack of knowledge is particularly severe in the understanding of the role of hybridization and introgression, a process with a vital but still poorly understood role in the Ecology, Evolution, and Conservation Biology of many taxa. The overall aim of this proposal is to understand how hybridization operates in symbionts, a group of taxa exhibiting unique eco-evolutionary trajectories, and for which hybridization has almost never been studied. The research objectives are: 1) to investigate the pattern of introgression across the global tree of lice, 2) to research the role of introgression in shaping key eco-evolutionary variables related to dispersal and host-switching, and 3) to study the relationship between introgression levels and symbiont extinction rate. To complete the research objectives, I will be trained by the hosts and world-renowned experts in the analytical and theoretical aspects related to this highly integrative topic (e.g. Genomics, Bioinformatics, Coevolutionary Biology, and Biological Conservation). This training will increase my experience in different biological domains and will help me to develop my independent research group in the EU.

Coordinator

UNIVERSIDAD DE GRANADA
Net EU contribution
€ 263 732,16
Address
CUESTA DEL HOSPICIO SN
18071 Granada
Spain

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Region
Sur Andalucía Granada
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
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Total cost
€ 263 732,16

Partners (1)