Ecological and Evolutionary Functional Genomics (EuroEEFG)

How to live in a mosaic of stressors – an ecological genomics approach on the water flea Daphnia – STRESSFLEA


STRESSFLEA develops and uses genomics tools to unravel patterns and mechanisms of adaptation to anthropogenic and natural stressors in natural populations, using the water flea Daphnia magna as a model system. Daphnia is a key model organism in ecology, evolutionary biology and ecotoxicology, and rapidly develops to become a leading model invertebrate in ecological genomics. Daphnia has clear assets as an ecogenomic model because of its ecological importance and life cycle features (short generation time, clonal lineages, layered dormant egg banks). STRESSFLEA aims to (1) obtain insight into the genomic underpinning of genetic adaptation to specific stressors (predation, parasitism, habitat unpredictability); (2) identify gene function by linking gene expression to trait values; (3) obtain insight into the genomics of adaptation to multiple stressors; and (4) reconstruct evolutionary processes over an extended time axis through the use of genomic markers and candidate genes in layered egg banks. STRESSFLEA brings together the key European research groups developing genomic resources for studying responses to stressors in natural Daphnia populations (supplemented with a pivotal research group from the USA), and combines transcriptome analysis, targeted genome scans, QTL analysis and gene mapping, microarrays, proteomics and methylome analysis to identify candidate loci and associated SNP markers, analyse gene function, and apply this knowledge to reconstruct evolutionary dynamics in a paleogenomics approach and analyse the dynamics and signature of local adaptation. The legacy of STRESSFLEA will include firm insight into the genomic underpinning of local adaptation to single and multiple stressors, insight into the dynamics of micro-evolutionary adaptation over extended timescales, a strongly elaborated genomics and transcriptomics toolbox for ecologic genomics using the model system Daphnia, and a firmly established network of European research groups that collaborate on ecological and functional genomics of natural populations, using Daphnia as a model.

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Project Participants

Georg J.ArnoldE-Mail
Ludwig-Maximilians University of MunichLaboratorium für Funktionale Genomanalyse - LAFUGA GenzentrumMünchenGermany
University of SheffieldDepartment of Animal and Plant SciencesSheffieldUnited Kingdom
University of IndianaThe Center for Genomics and BioinformaticsBloomingtonUnited States
KU Leuven Campus KortrijkFaculty of Science & TechnologyDepartment of Aquatic BiologyInterdisciplinary Research CentreKortrijkBelgium
LucDe MeesterE-Mail
Catholic University LeuvenFaculty of ScienceDepartment of BiologyLaboratory of Aquatic Ecology and Evolutionary BiologyLeuvenBelgium
Karel André ClaraDe SchamphelaereE-Mail
Ghent UniversityFaculty of Bioscience EngineeringLaboratory of Environmental Toxicology and Aquatic EcologyGentBelgium
University of HelsinkiInstitute of BiotechnologyHelsinkiFinland
University of FribourgDepartment of BiologyUnit Ecology and EvolutionFribourgSwitzerland
Ghent UniversityLaboratory of Environmental Toxicology and Aquatic EcologyGhentBelgium
Ludwig-Maximilians-University MunichDepartment of Biology IIPlanegg-MartinsriedGermany
School of Biological SciencesInstitute of Evolutionary BiologyEdinburghUnited Kingdom
Katholieke Universiteit LeuvenLaboratory for Aquatic Ecology and Evolutionary BiologyLeuvenBelgium
Charles UniversityFaculty of ScienceDepartment of EcologyPragueCzech Republic

Funding Agencies

  • Sumoen Akatemia (AKA), Finland
  • Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG), Germany
  • Grantová agentura Ceské republiky (GACR), Czech Republic
  • Schweizerischer Nationalfunds (SNF), Switzerland

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