Population genetics

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Population genetics

Population genetics

In the division of population genetics we study intraspecific genetic variation and the micro-evolutionary processes that govern this variation. Our broad interest is focused in finding out how and why genetic variation is structured within and among populations of animals over geographic space and time. We use genomic tools to investigate the genetic mechanisms behind important phenotypic traits affecting fitness in an evolutionary context. We use large scale genotyping of marker loci, computer simulations, and theoretical modelling to investigate how anthropogenic factors affect genetic biodiversity and how management can be designed to maintain of genetic variation in animal populations.

Monitoring genetic biodiversity in brown trout

The Lakes Bävervattnen Project is a unique long term study of natural brown trout populations in an undisturbed setting in the Hotagen Nature Reserve in central Sweden. We address a wide range of issues relating to microevolution and conservation genetics including methods for estimating and monitoring effective population size over space and time.

Functional genomics of life history evolution in Pieris napi

What are the genetic variants that help animals adaptation to their complex habitats? Using many different ‘omic tools, I am working with colleagues to answer this question for a range of adaptive phenotypes in the butterfly P. napi: diapause, wing patterning, polyphenism, polyandry, and immunity. Currently we are sequencing a high quality genome of this butterfly.

Large scale releases of salmon in the Baltic Sea

We have evaluated the conservation genetic risks for remaining wild salmon populations associated with compensatory releases of hatchery reared salmon into the Baltic Sea.

Colias butterfly color evolution

We are using genomic tools to investigate the evolution of color variation in Colias (Pieridae) butterflies. We are nearly finished with a revised phylogeny for all Pieridae using 8 genes, and will be adding as many Colias to this tree as we can.

Conservation genetic management of Swedish wolves

The Swedish wolf population is small, isolated and highly inbred. We address issues relating to the conservation genetic management of this, and similar populations.

Our latest publications

Ramprasad Neethiraj, Emily A. Hornett, Jason A. Hill, Christopher W. Wheat. 2017. Investigating the genomic basis of discrete phenotypes using a Pool-Seq-only approach - New insights into the genetics underlying colour variation in diverse taxa. Molecular Ecology 26: 4990-5002.

Naomi L. P. Keehnen, Jens Rolff, Ulrich Theopold, Christopher W. Wheat. 2017. Insect Antimicrobial Defences - A Brief History, Recent Findings, Biases, and a Way Forward in Evolutionary Studies. Advances in Insect Physiology 52: 1-33.

Anastasia Andersson, Eeva Jansson, Lovisa Wennerström, Fidel Chiriboga, Mariann Arnyasi, Matthew P. Kent, Nils Ryman, Linda Laikre. 2017. Complex genetic diversity patterns of cryptic, sympatric brown trout (Salmo trutta) populations in tiny mountain lakes. Conservation Genetics 18: 1213-1227.

Anastasia Andersson, Frank Johansson, Marcus Sundbom, Nils Ryman, Linda Laikre. 2017. Lack of trophic polymorphism despite substantial genetic differentiation in sympatric brown trout (Salmo trutta) populations. Ecology of Freshwater Fish 26: 643-652.

Alyssa Woronik. 2017. A functional genomic investigation of an alternative life history strategy - The Alba polymorphism in Colias croceus. Doctoral thesis. Department of Zoology, Stockholm University.

Peter Pruisscher, Helena Larsdotter-Mellström, Constantí Stefanescu, Sören Nylin, Christopher W. Wheat, Karl Gotthard. 2017. Sex-linked inheritance of diapause induction in the butterfly Pieris napi. Physiological entomology (Print) 42: 257-265.