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Dr. Charles Goodnight's Sabbatical at the Dept. of Genetics and Evolution - UFSCar

Abstract

Professor Dr. Charles Goodnight is one of the most renowned theoreticians in the field of population genetics and evolutionary quantitative genetics, which is reflected in his extensive production that includes many of the world's most cited articles in the area. He visited our laboratory in 2012, which was followed by a joint presentation of the roundtable "Evolutionary quantitative genetics: beyond the additive world" at the 58th Brazilian Genetics Meeting. During this conference, we talked about an article I published in 2005 (de Brito et al, Evolution 59:2333-2342. 2005) In which we sought to test Dr. Goodnight's theoretical model of transformation of epistatic into additive genetic variation in structured populations using mice crosses. While this article showed promising results, we could not distinguish what portion of non-additive genetic variation was indeed epistatic, and what fraction would be due to dominance. We then outlined an experiment that allows us to test this model effectively in crosses of South American fruit flies. Part of our research group, among them a postdoc and a PhD student, has been responsible for breeding and maintenance of these flies in this long experiment that started in the middle of last year and should run until the beginning of next year. Dr. Goodnight will arrive in August in time to assist in these crosses, and also in genotyping and phenotyping these data, and will assist us with the theoretical analyses and manuscript preparation during the months of January and June. In addition to our collaboration on this major project , Dr. Goodnight will collaborate with many current projects in our laboratory, but will also assist other researchers in our graduate program graduate. Dr. Goodnight will collaborate directly with three other PhD students , with projects in areas as diverse as the investigation of the genetic architecture of variation in morphological characters in A. obliqua through quantitative genetics strategies, the study of evolution of the odorant Binding Proteins gene family, which are subject to various types of selection above and below the individual level, and also a project that seeks to associate the evolution and differences in gene expression in various Tephritidae with populational and environmental attributes. Besides these projects, Dr. Goodnight will also collaborate with several other ongoing projects in the laboratory such as study of the genetic architecture of speciation in fruit flies of the fraterculus group, in collaboration with Dr. Jason Wolf, University of Bath, funded by FAPESP, as well a Theme grant that is still being reviewed by this foundation, in which we sought to evaluate similar processes in the assassin bugs Triatoma brasiliensis. Finally, Dr. Goodnight will also participate as an advisor to two projects of collaborating professors: a Theme grant coordinated by Prof. Dr. Luciana Correia de Almeida Regitano, which seeks to identify the genetic architecture of tender meat in cattle using various quantitative and molecular strategies and a project that is still under review by FAPESP investigating epigenetic and maternal effects that influence maternal behavior in mice. In total, we have identified that Dr. Goodnight's contribution will be greatly beneficial to at least five currently funded projects, and 4 that are in review by FAPESP. In addition to his involvement in several projects, Dr. Goodnight will teach two graduate level courses, and be actively involve with daily routines in our lab, so we consider ourselves very lucky to have the privilege of receiving Dr. Goodnight's visit during his sabbatical, which is an important step in the growth and internationalization of our research group and graduate program and will allow a further qualitative leap in our production. (AU)

Articles published in Agência FAPESP Newsletter about the research grant:
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Scientific publications
(References retrieved automatically from Web of Science and SciELO through information on FAPESP grants and their corresponding numbers as mentioned in the publications by the authors)
GOODNIGHT, C. J. Multilevel selection theory and evidence: a critique of Gardner, 2015. JOURNAL OF EVOLUTIONARY BIOLOGY, v. 28, n. 9, p. 1734-1746, SEP 2015. Web of Science Citations: 14.

Please report errors in scientific publications list by writing to: cdi@fapesp.br.