Oferta de Tesi Doctoral: «Chromosomal inversions as a mechanism for sympatric differentiation in quails»

Borsa de treball | 25-10-2020

We are looking for candidates for a 4y PhD student contract to be associated with the project «Chromosomal inversions as a mechanism for sympatric differentiation in quails» (PID2019- 108163GB-I00).

Recent genomic studies have shown that chromosomal inversions may play an important role in adaptation, diversification and speciation. Chromosomal inversions protect co-adapted alleles from recombination with maladaptive ones, resulting in combinations of traits that are inherited together, as a single unit, called supergenes. Although theoretical studies suggest that this may be common across the tree of life, extensive genomic data is still scarce for most non-model organisms and it is not clear how often intra-population polymorphisms could be due to genomic inversions. Preliminary data from our research group suggests that one very large chromosomal inversion may be affecting the genome of common quails in the southwest of the Iberian Peninsula and that this could be associated with differences in pigmentation, size and wing shape.
The PhD student will study if there is assortative mating between the types that could lead to pre-zygotic isolation, and if there is decreased survival of chromosomal heterozygotes (heterokaryotypes). Further, the student will investigate if differences in phenology or in migratory behavior could contribute to a relative isolation of the chromosomal types. The PhD student will be part of the Conservation and Evolutionary Genetics group at the Estación Biológica de Doñana (http://www.consevol.org/) in Seville. The members of this group use genomic tools and field ecology methods to study the origin and evolution of vertebrate biodiversity at intra- and inter-specific levels, studying species in Europe, Africa, America and Asia. The group has an international spirit and the PhD student will collaborate with researchers at the University of Barcelona and at international institutions. The project will involve the analysis of genomic data using diverse bioinformatic approaches and field surveys and monitoring of quails. Consequently, expertise in these areas will be valued. A Masters degree or equivalent is required.

For additional information contact the Principal Investigator, Carles Vilà