Monster Seminar JAM - Genomic approaches to studying speciation in Lake Malawi cichlids
Dr. Thomas Kocher, Dept. of Zoology & Program in Genetics/ Hubbard Ctr. for Genome Studies, U of New Hampshire
Genome science offers new opportunities for uniting statistical and molecular approaches in evolutionary genetics. We have developed genetic and physical linkage maps for E. African cichlids, with the aim of identifying genes important to their adaptive radiation. ¿We have mapped QTL for differences in jaw morphology among Labeotropheus fuelleborni and Metriaclima zebra, and discovered that consistent directional selection was involved in moulding functional jaw shapes. ¿¿We have also cloned genes for visual pigments, and quantified differences in gene expression which dramatically change the visual sensititivities of ¿various species. Recently we have mapped a gene for orange-blotch pigmentation, and are in the process of positional cloning to identify the causative mutation. ¿In other studies, we have mapped genes for sex determination in tilapia, and discovered that sex determining mechanisms are evolving rapidly among the E. African cichlids. ¿The next steps in this research are to further improve the physical and comparative maps for these species, with an eye toward future sequencing of a cichlid genome.
Date and Time:
January 8, 2004,
11:00 am - 12:30 pm