Departament de Genètica 


Montserrat Aguadé
Ricard Albalat
Elvira Juan
Francesc Mestres
Montserrat Papaceit
Marta Pascual
Julio Rozas
Carmen Segarra
Lluís Serra




1) Population genetic structure of marine organisms, phylogeography, phylogeny and conservation genetics

The analysis of the population structure is fundamental to apply adequate conservation measures. In marine environments one of the main problems in management is the presence of cryptic species, either endemic or of recent invasion that can be detected using a phylogeographic approach by phylogenetic reconstruction with multiple genes. We have observed cryptic species associated to different habitats, or morphotypes (Ascideans: Clavelina sp and Pseudodistoma sp) or different distribution areas (fishes: Tripterygion tartessicum). The use of microsatellites (isolated in our group) has enabled inter- (population differentiation and isolation by distance) and intrapopulation analyses (clonality, substructure, selfrecruitment) in sponges (Crambe, Scopalina), ascidenas (Microcosmus) crustaceans (Palinurus, Liocarcinus) and fishes (Tripterygion, Serranus, Epinephelus). Combining mitochondrial genes and microsatellite loci has proved to be a useful methodology for studying population connectivity among populations of different species. Currently we are extending the studies to analyze the impact of oceanographic fronts on the gene flow between populations of many marine species and its relation with their larval dispersal capabilities.

Dr. Marta Pascual

Victor Hugo García
Víctor Ordoñez
Ferran Palero
Celia Schunter

Dr. Pere Abelló (Institut de Ciències del Mar, CSIC)
Dr. Alex Aguilar (Biologia Animal, Universitat de Barcelona)
Dr. Mark Beaumont (University of Reading, UK)
Dr. Lluís Cardona (Biologia Animal, Universitat de Barcelona)
Dr. Keith Crandall (Integrative Biology, Brigham Young University, USA)
Dr. Arnaud Estoup (Centre de Biologie et de Gestion des Populations, INRA, France)
Dr. Enrique Macpherson (Centre d'Estudis Avançats de Blanes, CSIC)
Dr. David Posada (Bioquímica, Genética e Inmunología, Universidad de Vigo)
Dr. Ciro Rico (Estación Biológica de Doñana, CSIC)
Dr. Xavier Turon (Centre d'Estudis Avançats de Blanes, CSIC)
Dr. Iosune Uriz (Centre d'Estudis Avançats de Blanes, CSIC)

2) Genomic structure in Drosophila subobscura

Microsatellite loci can be used as molecular markers to study processes of genomic reorganization, rates of recombination in different genomic regions and for detecting areas under selection in processes of adaptation to the laboratory conditions and to nature. In order to carry out these studies we have localized by fluorescent in-situ hybridization on polytene chromosomes the micro­satellite loci isolated from a genomic library of Drosophila subobscura. The cy­tological positions in D. subobscura have been compared with the whole genomic sequence of other two drosophilid species, D. pseudoobscura and D. melanogaster available in GenBank. The mapping has allowed using some loci in studies on laboratory adaptation analyzing the role of drift and selection in the change of allele frequencies through time. A genetic map is currently being under construction and will be compared to the cytological map which will allow to empirically detecting high and low recombination areas. The localized microsatellite loci are also being used to study the role of inversions in preventing recombination as well as to analyze the associations between these loci and chromosomal arrangements that will allow inferring the effect of selection. Candidate genes are being analyzed to study long term recombination between chromosomal arrangements. The global objective is to study the genetic basis for clinal adaptation of inversions.

Dr. Marta Pascual
Dr. Francesc Mestres
Dr. Joan Balanyà
Dr. Lluís Serra

Dr. Pedro Miguel Simoes (Universidade de Lisboa, Portugal)

Gemma Calabria
Olga Dolgova
Cinta Pegueroles
Josiane Santos

Dr. Charles F. Aquadro (Cornell University, USA)
Dr. Margarida Matos (Universidade de Lisboa, Portugal)
Dr. Mauro Santos (Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona)
Dr. Christian Schlötterer (University of Vienna)

3) Colonization of America by  Drosophila subobscura

D. subobscura was introduced into both North and South America just over two decades ago and then spread rapidly. Just a few years after the introduction clines for chromosomal inversion frequencies were detected in both North and South America that almost always had the same sign with latitude as in the Old World, providing experimental support for the adaptive value of this polymorphism. Two decades after the introduction wing length clines had also evolved, which largely converged on the ancestral cline in Europe, showing that the rate of morphological evolution on a continental scale is very fast. Recessive lethal genes are not randomly distributed among the chromosomal arrangements in colonizing populations. The persistence of the allelism over several years suggests that some lethal-carrying chromosomes may be heterotic. Data on microsatellite variation are consistent with a rather strong founder effect and also with the two-phase microsatellite mutational model.

Lluís Serra
Francesc Mestres
Marta Pascual
Joan Balanyà

Pedro Arauz
Héctor Ruiz

Dr. Raymond  B. Huey (University of Washington, Seattle, USA)
Dr. George W. Gilchrist ( College of William and Mary, USA)
Dr. Concepció Arenas (Estadística, Universitat de Barcelona)
Dr. Arnaud Estoup (Centre de Biologie et de Gestion des Populations, INRA, France)
Pedro Fernández Iriarte (Universidad Nacional de Mar del Plata, Argentina)