Genomic adaptations to environmental factors in tropical trees

SNIC 2018/5-63


SNAC Small

Principal Investigator:

Yuqing Jin


UmeƄ universitet

Start Date:


End Date:


Primary Classification:

10615: Evolutionary Biology




Understanding how populations adapt to their local environment is a key issue in evolutionary biology. In the context of Global Climate Change, such studies are becoming critical as they can help to understand the potential of species for rapid evolutionary adaptation that would allow them to persist in a rapidly changing environment. Here, we propose a comprehensive study to investigate the genomic adaptations driven by environmental factors in a tropical tree complex with a wide distribution in tropical SE Asia. We will first develop genetic resources to efficiently analyze genome-wide genetic variation, including a draft reference genome and a genetic linkage map. We will then clarify the phylogenetic relationships between the different varieties of this species complex to better understand their genetic structure, diversity, and distribution. Finally, we will study the adaptive variation across environmental gradients, and across hybrid zones. Tropical species have been largely understudied while they represent a large fraction of the planet's biodiversity. This study will be one of the first large-scale projects to study adaptive genetic variation in a keystone tropical species, and will help to understand the response of tropical trees to climatic variation. Figs in particular are excellent model organisms for the study of forest tree evolution and adaptation, as well as for breeding system evolution, and plant-insect co-evolution. The genetic resources and the mapping population established during this study will provide the basis for abundant subsequent research into the forest dynamics in response to both current and historical climate change.