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Evolutionary and ecological functional genomics

Abstract

A unique combination of disciplines is emerging — evolutionary and ecological functional genomics — which focuses on the genes that affect ecological success and evolutionary fitness in natural environments and populations. Already this approach has provided new insights that were not available from its disciplinary components in isolation. However, future advances will necessitate the re-engineering of scientific attitudes, training and institutions, to achieve extensive multidisciplinarity.

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Figure 1: Criteria for model species in evolutionary and ecological functional genomics.
Figure 2: Model organisms for evolutionary and ecological functional genomics.
Figure 3: Variation in mouse coat colour.

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Acknowledgements

We thank G. Bartholomew, J. Bergelson, B. Hill, C. Langley, M. Lynch, T. MacKay, M. Nachman, M. Turelli, W. Watt and three anonymous referees for helpful discussion and comments. We are grateful to J. Bergelson, J. Colbourne, M. Lynch, M. Nachman and C. Weinig for access to unpublished manuscripts and proposals. T.M.-O was supported by the European Union (contract number QLRT-2000-01097), the Bundesminesterium für Bildung und Forschung, the United States National Science Foundation and the Max-Planck Gesellschaft. M.E.F. was supported by National Science Foundation grants, which also supported the establishment of the evolutionary and ecological functional genomics (EEFG) community. In lieu of a trans-Atlantic coin flip, the order of authorship was determined by random fluctuation in the Euro/Dollar exchange rate.

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Correspondence to Thomas Mitchell-Olds.

Related links

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DATABASES

TAIR

RPM1

Further Information

Daphnia Genomics Consortium

EEFG

EEFG Conference

Genome News Network

Genomes Online Database

Martin E. Feder's web site

Max Planck Institute of Chemical Ecology Department of Genetics and Evolution

NemATOL

Organism-Specific Genome Databases

TIGR Gene Indices

Wild Relatives of Arabidopsis

Glossary

BALANCING SELECTION

Natural selection that maintains higher levels of genetic variation than are expected under neutrality.

BIOPROSPECTING

The sampling of diverse organisms for genes, gene products and other compounds that are of value to humans.

DARWINIAN FITNESS

The expected reproductive contribution to future generations.

EPISTASIS

The influence of the interaction of multiple loci on variation in a single trait.

GEOTAXIS

Movement up or down, which requires the perception of and response to gravity.

GUILDS

Groups of species that use a common resource in similar ways.

LINKAGE DISEQUILIBRIUM

When genotype frequencies at several loci are correlated or non-independent.

MUTATION–SELECTION BALANCE MODEL

A population genetics model that assumes that a combination of mutation and balancing selection can explain present levels of genetic variation.

NATURAL EXPERIMENTS

The comparison of naturally arising variants of individual organisms, populations, species or higher taxa, which is similar to the way in which control and manipulated subjects are compared in anthropogenic experimentation.

PHYLOGENETIC FOOTPRINTING AND SHADOWING

Both approaches seek to identify conserved regulatory elements by comparing genomic sequences between related species. Phylogenetic footprinting uses one or a few relatively distant evolutionary comparisons, whereas phylogenetic shadowing examines a set of closely related species.

PLEIOTROPY

When a single gene or polymorphism influences two or more separate traits.

POST-GENOMIC

The era following the availability of complete genome sequences.

STABILIZING SELECTION

Natural selection that favours intermediate values of a quantitative trait.

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Feder, M., Mitchell-Olds, T. Evolutionary and ecological functional genomics. Nat Rev Genet 4, 649–655 (2003). https://doi.org/10.1038/nrg1128

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