Strategies to optimize the analysis of gene flow in speciation at the example of giraffes, bears, whales, and seals

Institution: Senckenberg Gesellschaft für Naturforschung

TBG group members

  • Prof. Dr. Axel Janke
  • Dr. Stefan Prost
  • Dr. Menno de Jong
  • MSc Sven Winter
  • MSc Raphael Coimbra
  • MSc Magnus Wolf

TBG project area: Comparative Genomics

TBG project summary

We sequence the genomes from a number of mammals to study how species differ at the sequence level. In particular methods implemented in D-stat, Phylonet, D-foil, CoalHMM will show how past and current gene flow or the lack thereof affects speciation. Initially, we will focus on current projects in giraffe, bears and seals. For these taxonomic groups gene flow has been documented or is suspected. The new findings will also be studied and interpreted with the aid of alternative presentations like networks to depict of evolutionary processes. So far, comparative genomic studies have only been made involving few individuals, but the expected inflation of the number of genomes for numerous species will make it necessary to develop efficient procedures to involve even hundreds of species/individuals in such studies.
During the course of TBG we will also involve other taxonomic groups from which genomes will become available for comparative genomic studies.

Group expertise / Methods

Genome assembly tool, evolutionary network analyses, gene flow D-stat and it derivatives

Organisms/genomes analyzed

13 de novo seals (done), 150 reseq + 1 de novo (N50 40Gb) giraffes (done), 100 reseq bears (in progress), 50 reseq +1 de novo whales (done-analysis in progress)