European Drosophila Population Genomics Consortium (DrosEU)

DrosEUThis is an extremely exciting time for population genomic studies. The recent advent of powerful next- generation sequencing (NGS) techniques allows us researchers to examine genetic variation at unprecedented scale, at the whole-genome level and with single nucleotide resolution. The continuing technological improvements and the dropping costs of these methods means that even single labs can now generate terabytes of sequence data very rapidly a relatively low cost. However, the resulting data are typically used to address only a very limited number of specific questions, so that the overall value of these data sets for the community as a whole is somewhat limited. The best-suited organisms to track genetic changes and adaptation are those that are easy to collect, which are broadly distributed, possess a short generation time, have a well-annotated genome and for which hypotheses about climate adaptation can be tested in the laboratory. The fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster and its sibling species are ideally suited for this purpose and have already been shown to respond to global and local climatic changes over short periods of time. Indeed, the genus Drosophila is one of the most powerful model systems for studying adaptation. However, in contrast to other continents, population samples of Drosophila from Europe are so far available only from a few environments and from single time points of collection.

Objectives of DrosEU

  • To foster the integration and exchange of population genomic information and data, we have founded in 2013 the European Drosophila Population Genomics Consortium (DrosEU), a collaborative consortium of scientists and laboratories interested in evolutionary genetics and genomics of Drosophila. Our main objective is to cooperate closely in collecting, generating and analyzing genomic and environmental data for numerous Drosophila populations across Europe (and beyond). While our initial focus is on sampling and analysis of the most tractable species, D. melanogaster, we also plan in the future to include related species such as D. simulans, D. subobscura (a model for climate change adaptation) and D. suzukii (a recent invasive pest species). Our long-term goal is to regularly sample and sequence Drosophila populations through both space and time in order to track their eco-evolutionary dynamics. We plan this to be a continuing multi-year effort. Importantly, many of the sampled populations are being kept as isofemale lines by the members of the consortium as a resource for phenotypic, functional (genotype-phenotype mapping) work.
  • A similar consortium already exists in the US: the Drosophila Real Time Evolution Consortium (Dros- RTEC), coordinated by Alan Bergland, Dmitri Petrov (both Stanford) and Paul Schmidt (Philadelphia). The goal of DrosEU is to extend and complement the North American efforts by implementing a similar initiative focused on Europe. We are closely collaborating with Dros-RTEC.

Please contact me if you are interested in joining DrosEU: josefa.gonzalez@ibe.upf-csic.es

Consortium organizers

  • Josefa González
    Ramon y Cajal Researcher
    Institute of Evolutionary Biology
    CSIC-Universitat Pompeu Fabra
    Passeig Maritim de la Barceloneta, 37-49
    08003, Barcelona
    Spain
    E-mail: josefa.gonzalez@ibe.upf-csic.es
    Website: www.biologiaevolutiva.org/gonzalez_lab
  • Martin Kapun
    Department of Ecology and Evolution University of Lausanne
    UNIL Sorge, Le Biophore
    CH-1015 Lausanne
    Switzerland
    E-mail: Martin.Kapun@unil.ch
  • Thomas Flatt
    SNF Professor
    Department of Ecology and Evolution
    University of Lausanne
    UNIL Sorge, Le Biophore
    CH-1015 Lausanne
    Switzerland
    E-mail: Thomas.Flatt@unil.ch
    Website: http://www.unil.ch/dee/page94630_en.html

 

 

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