School of Biological Sciences Seminar Series

The 5000 Daphnia pulex Genomes Project


Michael Lynch


Center Director and Professor Biodesign Center for Mechanisms of Evolution Arizona State University

Time & Place

Mon, 01 Apr 2019 12:00:00 NZDT in Rehua 529

All are welcome


Owing to the pronounced technological achievements in genomics and other “omics” fields, a number of new model systems are emerging in biology. In the fields of ecological and evolutionary genomics, foremost among these is Daphnia pulex, a globally distributed aquatic microcrustacean of interest because of its variation in asexual/sexual mating systems. We have embarked on a project to sequence the genomes of 96 genotypes from ~50 populations in an effort to provide a general service to the research community, as well as to answer several unsolved problems in evolution, including: the genomic consequences of the loss of meiosis; the origins of introns; and the impact of long-term population bottlenecks. This work is now being extended to several other species. A broad overview will be given on some of the findings that have begun to emerge for D. pulex, including patterns of within- and among-population variation, historical changes in population size revealed by a new computational method using site-frequency-spectrum data, the genome-wide landscape of recombination frequency, and the discovery of a polymorphism determining the ability to produce males. By revealing the species-wide frequencies of single-nucleotide polymorphisms throughout the entire genome and inferring aspects of selection on individual loci, this work lays the foundations for studies on local environmental adaptation and temporal response to environmental change, in ways that will soon surpass the genomic knowledge base for any other species than humans. To fully capitalize on this project, we encourage collaborative efforts with other researchers working on D. pulex or closely related species.


Host: Tammy Steeves