Research labs

Evolutionary and Functional Genomics lab

The key question in genomics is how genomes vary and evolve at both large and fine scales. The Evolutionary and Functional Genomics lab is particularly interested in understanding the molecular processes underlying adaptive evolution and the functional consequences of adaptive mutations. Towards this end, -omics strategies with detailed molecular and functional analyses of the candidate adaptive mutations are combined in order to arrive at a comprehensive picture of adaptation. This lab studies both transposable element (TE)-induced adaptations and point mutations in the model organism Drosophila melanogaster. It is also interested in the population dynamics of TEs. TEs are the most active, diverse, and ancient components in a broad range of genomes. As such, a complete understanding of genome function and evolution cannot be achieved without a thorough understanding of TE impact and TE biology.

Principal investigator: Josefa González

Members of the lab: Lain Guio, Postdoctoral Researcher; Maite Barrón, Postdoctoral Researcher; Gabriel Rech, Postdoctoral Researcher; Jose Luis Villanueva-Cañas, Postdoctoral Researcher; Anna Ullastres, PhD Student; Miriam Merenciano, PhD Student; Vivien Horváth, PhD Student; Laura Aguilera, PhD Student; Camillo Iacometti, Master Student, and Ingrid Palomino, Master Student

Oral presentations and talks given: 8

Main publications and other research activities:

Horvath, V., Merenciano, M and González J. Revisiting the relationship between transposable elements and the eukaryotic stress response. Trends in Genetics 33: 832-841. 2017.

Villanueva-Cañas, J.L., Rech, G.E., de Cara, MAR, González, J. Beyond SNPs: how to detect selection on transposable element insertions. Methods in Ecology and Evolution, 8: 728-737. 2017.

Le, H., Guio, L., Merenciano, M., Rovira, Q., Barrón, M.G., González, J. Natural and laboratory mutations in kuzbanian are associated with zinc stress phenotypes in Drosophila melanogaster. Scientific Reports, 7: 42663. 2017.

Organizer of the 6th European Drosophila Population Genomics Consortium (DrosEU) workshop. 20th August 2017, Groningen. Netherlands.

Main outreach activities:

Ciència i convivència. Funded by the Barcelona City Council

Melanogaster Catch the Fly. Funded by the European Commission

Funding (active projects in 2017 only):

Name of the project New approaches to long-standing questions: adaptation in Drosophila
Principal investigator Josefa González
Funding institution European Commission


Name of the project Origin, diversification and diversity of metazoans, fungi and their unicellular relatives; an ecological and evolutionary approach
Principal investigator Josefa González and Iñaki Ruiz Trillo
Funding institution Spanish Ministry of Economy and Competitivity/FEDER


Name of the project AdaptNET. Genomics of adaptation network
Principal investigator Julio Rozas. Co-PI: Josefa González
Funding institution Spanish Ministry of Economy and Competitivity


Name of the project Origin and evolution of sylvatic populations of Anopheles gambiae
Principal investigator Josefa González and Diego Ayala
Funding institution CNRS-CSIC


Name of the project European Drosophila population genomics network
Principal investigator Co-PI: Josefa González
Funding institution ESEB

More information: Evolutionary and Functional Genomics lab’s website | Evolutionary and Functional Genomic lab’s Twitter account

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