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Seascape genetics and comparative genomics: an integrative evolutionary approach in marine invertebrates


Inferring how the historical relationships between populations are reflected on the genetic variability is one of the main challenges on the landscape genetics field. This approach allows the understanding of the relationships between geographic distribution and gene flow with the cumulative environmental and bionomics data. One of the main possibilities on the landscape/seascape approaches is relating the adaptive role of the markers used to phenotypic and functional evolution in genotype-environment associations (GEA). However, it hits a wall as the data available is not enough to make an accurate annotation of the genes under selection or with a functional role. To circumvent that, one can apply statistical comparative genomic approaches to study the genetic basis of phenotypic/functional trait evolution. In this context, the present proposal aims to explore three aspects potentially fundamentals to establish a bridge between genetic diversity and adaptive habits in two restrictive and understudied marine environments. First, understand and characterize at the genomic/transcriptomic level the interspecies differences in response to environmental constraints. Secondly, evaluate the genetic variability distribution accompanied by the screening of biotic and abiotic data in the collection location and compared to the results obtained by ocean circulation models. Finally, using phylogenetic approaches comparative genomics tools, such as PhyloG2P, and markers as UCEs and entire genomes and transcriptomes, we intend to test for evolutionary associations between functional traits and lineage diversification, untying similarity due to convergent evolution from the similarity caused by shared common ancestry. (AU)

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