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Evolutionary and adaptive insights from high-quality genomes from aquatic vertebrates

Grant number: 20/10372-6
Support Opportunities:Scholarships abroad - Research Internship - Doctorate
Effective date (Start): January 18, 2021
Effective date (End): January 17, 2022
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Genetics - Animal Genetics
Principal Investigator:Mariana Freitas Nery
Grantee:Elisa Karen da Silva Ramos
Supervisor: Camila Junqueira Mazzoni
Host Institution: Instituto de Biologia (IB). Universidade Estadual de Campinas (UNICAMP). Campinas , SP, Brazil
Research place: Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research (IZW), Germany  
Associated to the scholarship:18/01236-1 - Evolution of new environments colonization in mammals: investigating the molecular footprints of fluvial environment colonization and the osmoregulation system, BP.DR


Comparative genomics has been a powerful tool for studying the molecular evolution of arange of non-model organisms and its contribution to answering key questions in evolutionary biology is expected to increase due to continuous advances in sequencing technologies. However, the quality of its results is directly proportional to the quality of the genomic data used, encouraging researchers to improve more and more the reference genomes that are being produced. Thus, the aim of this project is to produce and explore high-quality genomes of aquatic mammals and chelonians and use comparative genomics approaches to unravel the genomic features evolved during the taxon adaptation to marine and freshwater environments. The main project to be developed at IZW and BeGenDiv institutes is split into two different sub-projects corresponding to adaptive and comparative genomics analysis on two different vertebrate groups: aquatic mammals and sea turtles. In the first, we will improve the assembly and annotation of high-quality genomes of aquatic mammals for posterior investigation of its genomic uniqueness as part of the original Ph.D. Fapesp project. In the second we will perform a genomic characterization of functional adaptation of two high-quality genomes of sea turtles, exploring their unique and shared characteristics related to the adaptive success of the marine environment. At the end of this project, we expect to generate reference genomes for aquatic mammals with optimal quality and provide the genetic basis for the sea adaptation on turtles, expanding the frontiers of knowledge about molecular evolution related to an ecological change in aquatic vertebrates. (AU)

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