GENOMICS OF LOCAL ADAPTATION IN THE MOUNTAIN HARE (Lepus timidus)

with Iwona Giska (CONGEN, CIBIO-InBIO, UP) | December 15, 2017 – 16h00 | CIBIO-InBIO’s Auditorium, Campus de Vairão

 

Local populations of widely distributed species often display striking local adaptations, determined by genetic uniqueness. Different populations of the mountain hare (Lepus timidus) show different phenotypes, of which distinct winter coat colours are amongst the most remarkable. In most of its range, mountain hares seasonally change their coat colour from summer brown to winter white. This is an key trait that allows camouflage in environments periodically covered with snow, with important impact on fitness. However, mountain hares in Ireland remain brown year-round and in the Faroe Islands winter coat is grey, presumably reflecting local adaptation to distinct snow conditions. We analyse genomic variation from four populations of the mountain hare – Fennoscandia, Alps, Ireland and Faroe Islands – and identify candidate genomic regions to underlie locally adaptated phenotypes, linked (but not only) to coat colour. In this talk, I will discuss the origin and evolution of these adaptive variants.

 

Iwona Giska is a post-doc researcher at CIBIO-InBIO since February 2017. She holds PhD in biology obtained in 2016 (Jagiellonian University in Krakow, Poland and Vrije Universiteit in Amsterdam, the Netherlands). She has worked in the field of ecotoxicology and population genetics. She has studied the effect of metal pollution on genetic variation of soil invertebrates as well as cryptic speciation of earthworms (Lumbricus rubellus) and centipedes (Lithobius forficatus). As a post-doctoral researcher at CIBIO-InBIO she works in a project about the genetics of coat colour change in boreal species, including hares.

 

[Host: José Melo-Ferreira, Conservation Genetics and Wildlife Management]