National Science Foundation recommends funding to support Drosophila evolutionary phenomics research by the CRE
The NSF has recommended for funding our EAGR proposal to characterize the evolutionary phenomics of Drosophila and to explore of the genomics of biodiversity and adaptation. Approximately 300 species of Drosophila and related genera, including all those maintained by the Drosophila Species Stock Center, will be phenotyped for a set of morphological, behavioral, physiological and developmental traits that collectively capture core aspects of sexual selection and life-history syndromes, in addition to providing characters relevant to ecological selection. In addition to providing the basis for a valuable public database (look to the CRE website for developments!), the data will be used for two kinds of state-of-the-art comparative analyses. First, Bayesian phylogenetic modeling, applied to data for all species, will be used to evaluate rates of diversification and co-evolutionary dynamics among character states and across the clade using a range of alternative trait diversification models. Second, two complementary analytical approaches will be applied to all Drosophila species with fully-sequenced genomes to explore genotype-phenotype relationships for all traits, with the goals of identifying candidate genes underlying trait diversification and setting the stage for studies of the molecular evolution and genomic architecture of Drosophila biodiversity.