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Speciation in ants: Unraveling the genetic, epigenetic and molecular basis of speciation using wood ants

Speciation in ants: Unraveling the genetic, epigenetic and molecular basis of speciation using wood ants

Objective

The enormous amount of diversity that surrounds us raises one of the key questions in evolutionary biology: How do new species originate? Speciation depends on the evolution of reproductive isolation but, with few exceptions, the genes underlying reproductive isolation and their modes of action are unknown. The novelty of this project lies in testing if, in addition to mutations in genes, epigenetics and gene expression are mechanisms that contribute to the process of speciation. For these aims I will use wood ants and their hybrids combining large-scale data sets on genomes, gene expression and genome-wide methylation. These approaches will be complemented with protein modeling of candidate genes resulting in a multidisciplinary project. Further aims are to develop an outreach programme on evolution for high schools and in collaboration with the Finnish Environment Institute to investigate the role of hybrids in forest ecosystems. Together these objectives yield a project that has high scientific standing and societal importance.

Coordinator

HELSINGIN YLIOPISTO

Address

Yliopistonkatu 3
00014 Helsingin Yliopisto

Finland

Activity type

Higher or Secondary Education Establishments

EU Contribution

€ 191 325,60

Project information

Grant agreement ID: 750015

Status

Ongoing project

  • Start date

    1 September 2018

  • End date

    31 August 2020

Funded under:

H2020-EU.1.3.2.

  • Overall budget:

    € 191 325,60

  • EU contribution

    € 191 325,60

Coordinated by:

HELSINGIN YLIOPISTO

Finland