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Comparison of intra- and inter-specific genetic architecture of speciation in South-American fruit flies

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The fruit flies Anastrepha fraterculus and A. obliqua are some of the greatest threats to the Brazilian fruiticulture, but despite their clear importance as pests we know very little about their biology and genetics. The project FAPESP 2010/20455-4, awarded to Dr. Reinaldo de Brito aims to address this dearth of knowledge by using next-generation sequencing to examine patterns of genomic variation. These data are important not only for their contribution to our understanding of genome evolution, but also for their practical application to identifying economically important genes. As part of this ongoing project, de Brito has generated large scale genomic and gene expression data. Our aim in the proposed collaboration is to connect these data to patterns of phenotypic variation in the ecologically and evolutionarily important traits that differentiate these species. To achieve this goal, we will generate new molecular and phenotypic data from experimental populations and use these data to examine the genetic basis to phenotypic divergence between species. We expect these results to be publishable, but more importantly, they will provide the foundation for a joint grant proposal focused on the genomic basis of variation in these important pest species. (AU)

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