adaptive evolution; gene flow; Tribolium castaneum; evolutionary quantitative genetics; experimental evolution; G-matrix; genetic architecture; pleiotropy
(2016), Epistasis and pleiotropy affect the modularity of the genotype-phenotype map of cross-resistance in HIV-1., in Molecular biology and evolution
, 33(12), 3213-3225.
(2012), Gene functional trade-offs and the evolution of pleiotropy, in Genetics
, 192, 1389-1409.
In this project, I am addressing fundamental questions on the evolutionary consequences and determinants of genetic constraints on species adaptation. Genetic constraints stem from the pleiotropic effects and linkage disequilibria of the genes coding for a set of phenotypic traits. They result in measurable genetic and phenotypic correlations among traits that have the potential to limit the adaptive capacity of a species. As such, I am interested in the potential detrimental effects of genetic constraints on species adaptation to climatic conditions at continental scales. I propose to establish the role of genetic correlations in influencing, and possibly limiting the geographical range of a species under both spatial and temporal variation of selection pressures. I propose to develop models of adaptation to multiple ecological conditions, expanding the current univariate quantitative genetics approach to incorporate multivariate selection. One key question is to understand how species adapt to current shifts in their environment and to delineate the conditions most favorable for their persistence. Empirical data will be incorporated in the modeling part and will help develop a predictive modeling framework. Field estimates of genetic co-variation (G-matrix) of ecologically relevant traits and local climate data will serve to predict the dynamics of population adaptation to different scenarios of climate change. A collaboration is starting with Prof. Yvonne Willi at Uni. Neuchâtel who works on Arabidopsis lyrata. This approach is complemented with an experimental study of adaptation to complex environments in the presence of gene flow in the red flour beetle (Tribolium castaneum), in collaboration with Dr. Oliver Y. Martin (ETHZ).