Specifically the applicant will test: if 1) newly formed species differ in the distributions of epigenetic marks across the genome, 2) genomic variants linked to phenotypic divergence among species are in genomic regions unusually high in DNA methylation, as expected under a hypothesis of epigenetic differences preceding fixed nucleotide differences during adaptive divergence
, 3) genomic regions diverging in patterns of methylation among incipient species are also exhibiting high levels of methylation in populations of Astatotilapia calliptera, the ancestral, colonizing species.
Speciation on oceanic islands: rapid adaptive divergence
The adaptive divergence during the initial phase may or may not be involved with genetic differentiation, depending on the relative strength of selection and the gene flow from the core habitat (reviewed in Sanford and Kelly (2011)).
Hence, studies on how these organisms adapt to such environmental regimes could provide an opportunity for exploring not only the process of adaptive divergence of organisms to estuarine habitats from ancestral environments, but also the incipient driver of the divergence.
minutus to estuarine environments could be an ideal model system for understanding the adaptive divergence of marine ancestors to estuarine habitats.
This project therefore aims to investigate the major evolutionary forces in the adaptive divergence of fungi as model eukaryotes with small genomes by the integration of high-throughput sequencing and innovative approaches.
We will integrate high-throughput sequencing and state-of-the-art inference methods to identify the evolutionary processes involved in adaptive divergence and the genomic consequences of domestication.
Detecting divergent sites among related individuals and taxa can shed light on the process of adaptive divergence
, from non-random mating to the establishment of reproductive barriers.