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  1. Alexandra Abramsson
  2. Roger Butlin
  3. Anna Godhe
  4. Felix Mittermayer
  5. Anja Westram


Using the Crispr/Cas9 technology for genomic modifications

Alexandra Abramsson and Henrik Zetterberg
Inst. Neuroscience and physiology, Dept. Psychiatry and Neurochemistry, University of Gothenburg.

Not long ago a new mutation in a specific gene of interest could cost $25000 to design, a price tag that did not include work hours or even guaranteeing an actual mutant would be made. Today, making your own genomic mutations/modifications is feasible and affordable by even the smallest laboratory. In this presentation I will give an introduction to the principle behind the CRISPR/Cas9 system and how it can be used to make changes to your genome of interest. The choice of research model will make the approach slightly different with various benefits and problems to be considered. I will present how we have approached and used the technique in our lab and the problems that we have encountered along the way so far.

Learning about selection from contact zones

Roger Butlin 
University of Sheffield, UK, and University of Gothenburg, Sweden

Genome scan approaches are limited to identifying candidate selected loci. Other approaches are needed to quantify selection and to associate selected loci with adaptive phenotypes. I will introduce the potential for using contact zones to tackle both of these issues. Using data from a contact zone between ecotypes of Littorina saxatilis, I will then illustrate this approach and some of the problems we are encountering.

Competitive advantage and higher fitness in native populations of genetically structured planktonic diatoms

Anna Godhe
Department of Marine Sciences, University of Gothenburg

It has been shown that the planktonic diatom Skeletonema from neighbouring areas are genetically differentiated despite absence of physical dispersal barriers. We revisited two sites, Mariager Fjord and
Kattegat, NE Atlantic, and isolated new strains. Microsatellite genotyping and F-statistics revealed that the populations were genetically differentiated. An experiment was designed to investigate if populations
are locally adapted and have a native competitive advantage. Ten strains from each location were grown individually in native and foreign water to investigate differences in produced biomass. Additionally, we mixed six pairs, one strain from each site, and let them grow together in native and foreign water. Strains from Mariager Fjord and Kattegat produced higher biomass in native water. In the competition experiment, strains from both sites displayed higher relative abundance and demonstrated competitive advantage in their native water. The cause of the differentiated growth is unknown, but could possibly be attributed to differences in silica concentration or viruses in the two water types. Our data show that dispersal potential does not influence the genetic structure of the populations. We conclude that genetic adaptation has not been overruled by gene flow, but instead the responses to different selection conditions are enforcing the observed genetic structure.

Effects of Ocean Acidification on Atlantic Cod Larval Survival and Importance of Mate Choice

Felix Mittermayer, Martina Stiasny, Catriona Clemmesen and Thorsten Reusch.

GEOMAR, Kiel, Germany

Ocean Acidification(OA) has been shown to have severe impacts on the early life stages of fish. Many detrimental effects such as impaired sensory abilities, organ development, changed behavior and otolith morphology have been observed. The majority of studies has been conducted on tropical reef fishes and other smaller commercially none important species. So far no mortality estimates for the effect of OA on the early life stages of a commercially important species have been presented and the possible effects on fisheries remain at large inconclusive.
Here we show the newly published results from recent experiments addressing the increased mortality of cod larvae in response to end-of-century pCO2 concentrations and its possible implications for recruitment to the fished population. Further we present first results on the survival of cod larvae originating from naturally occurring spawning and artificially created families.

Geographical patterns of outlier loci in Littorina saxatilis

Anja Westram

University of Sheffield, UK

There are two morphologically and behaviourally distinct ecotypes of the marine snail Littorina saxatilis, which are adapted to wave exposure and crab predation, respectively. These ecotypes have evolved repeatedly in multiple geographical locations across Europe and show partial reproductive isolation. This system is therefore ideally suited to study the early stages of speciation and the underlying genomic basis. One major question is whether divergently selected loci are shared among instances of parallel divergence, e.g. due to gene flow or repeated selection on shared standing genetic variation. In order to identify loci potentially affected by divergent selection between ecotypes, we performed genome scans, using various marker types and multiple geographical locations. I will present results indicating that the genomic basis of divergence in this system may be similar among locations on small geographical scales (e.g. within Sweden), but largely different on larger geographical scales, suggesting that similar phenotypic changes often evolved independently. While genome scans represent a first step for identifying candidate loci and revealing geographical patterns, the extent of divergent selection acting on outlier loci is often unclear, and their functional role is unknown. I will therefore also briefly introduce ongoing work on Swedish Littorina hybrid zones where we use cline analysis to estimate the strength of divergent selection and apply admixture mapping to establish genotype-phenotype associations.

Page Manager: Eva Marie Rödström|Last update: 10/10/2016

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