Thursday, 24 November 2016

New funding for genome finishing

We have just been awarded pilot Facilities and Technology funding from the NERC Biomolecular Analysis Facility (NBAF). This project will explore using the new PacBio Sequel platform for extra-long sequencing reads for hybrid assembly, gap-closing, and high quality finishing of the Zootoca vivipara genome. Not only is this species fascinating for is bimodal live-bearing-egg-laying reproduction, but it is also a high priority species for Genome 10K. We look forward to sharing our final genome with the international community soon!

Friday, 16 September 2016

New paper: Linkage of adaptive traits

We studied the genomic organisation of ecologically relevant traits in Midas cichlids.

Fruciano, Carmelo, Paolo Franchini, Viera Kovacova, Kathryn R. Elmer, Frederico Henning & Axel Meyer. 2016. Genetic linkage of distinct adaptive traits in sympatrically speciating crater lake cichlid fish. Nature Communications 7, Article number: 12736 (2016) doi:10.1038/ncomms12736

Abstract
Our understanding of how biological diversity arises is limited, especially in the case of speciation in the face of gene flow. Here we investigate the genomic basis of adaptive traits, focusing on a sympatrically diverging species pair of crater lake cichlid fishes. We identify the main quantitative trait loci (QTL) for two eco-morphological traits: body shape and pharyngeal jaw morphology. These traits diverge in parallel between benthic and limnetic species in the repeated adaptive radiations of this and other fish lineages. Remarkably, a single chromosomal region contains the highest effect size QTL for both traits. Transcriptomic data show that the QTL regions contain genes putatively under selection. Independent population genomic data corroborate QTL regions as areas of high differentiation between the sympatric sister species. Our results provide empirical support for current theoretical models that emphasize the importance of genetic linkage and pleiotropy in facilitating rapid divergence in sympatry.

Tuesday, 30 August 2016

Welcome to new postdoc A. Yurchenko

WELCOME to new our Postdoc, Andrey Yurchenko who joins us from the Theodosius Dobzhansky Center for Genome Bioinformatics, St. Petersburg. Andrey has outstanding expertise in genome bioinformatics and also a strong history in organismal biology (including catching fish!). He will be working with Kathryn Elmer, Rod Page and Maureen Bain on the ‘Major evolutionary transitions’ NERC project.

Tuesday, 12 July 2016

Kathryn awarded membership to the Royal Society of Edinburgh's Young Academy of Scotland

Kathryn Elmer is very pleased to have been awarded a membership to the Royal Society of Edinburgh's Young Academy of Scotland. YAS "fosters interdisciplinary activities among emerging leaders from the disciplines of science and humanities, the professions, the arts, business and civil society". I am very much looking forward to all the new ideas and colleagues brought together by working with YAS.

Congratulations to Kevin on his recent success

Kevin Schneider successfully gained a full scholarship from the Fisheries Society of the British Isles to fund his PhD research on comparative ecological genomics of salmonid fishes. Kevin will start his PhD this autumn, working with Kathryn Elmer and Colin Adams. Congratulations to Kevin on winning such a competitive scholarship.

Welcome to the new summer students

We are happy to host an enthusiastic new bunch of summer students this year. Welcome to Kevin Schneider, who is on an ERASMUS-funded internship who recently finished his Masters in Austria, Marco Crotti, who recently finished his Masters at the Natural History Museum London, Peter Koene, a second year undergraduate student here in Glasgow getting some hands on skills in molecular work, and third year student Paige Robinson who received FSBI internship funding.

Tuesday, 10 May 2016

Welcome and congrats to new intern Paige

Congratulations to Glasgow undergraduate student Paige Robinson for her successful award of an FSBI Internship with our group for summer 2016. Looking forward to some fascinating comparative population genetics of Scottish fishes!

Friday, 15 April 2016

New paper: ecological genomics of salmonid fishes

Spanning recent studies on salmonid fishes across the globe, Elmer summarises some of the key lessons learned on life history tactics, ecological speciation, and stock integrity by using genomic tools. For those readers new to ecological genomics, this paper clearly describes some of the key modern techniques and how they can be applied to questions about your study species in the wild. Also included is some ‘best practices’ advice for field biologists, so that the hard work that goes into ecological and fisheries collections can also have a long future in genomic applications.

Elmer KR (2016) Genomic tools for new insights to variation, adaptation, and evolution in the salmonid fishes:
a perspective for charr. Hydrobiologia, online early doi: 10.1007/s10750-015-2614-5, 18.

The paper is available freely and open access from Hydrobiologia