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Indiana Gets $5M for NSF Study on Genetic Recombination -- or Sex and the Water Flea

NEW YORK, July 9 - Michael Lynch, an evolutionary geneticist and a biology professor at Indiana University, Bloomington, and a multidisciplinary team of researchers have received a $5 million, five-year National Sciences Foundation grant to examine the causes and consequences of genetic recombination, the university announced.

 

The project will use the microcrustacean Daphnia pulex  (water flea) as a model system for ecological and evolutionary genomics. Data from the study will be tightly integrated with the Daphnia  Genomics Consortium, an international group of scientists organized in October.

 

Researchers at Indiana University, including the school's Center for Genomics and Bioinformatics, the University of Illinois; the University of New Hampshire, the University of Edinburgh (UK), the University of Idaho, and the US Department of Energy's Joint Genome Institute, will collaborate in the study, "Causes and Consequences of Recombination."

 

The project will test the hypothesis that host-parasite evolution drives the evolution of recombination and sex. Researchers will conduct high-throughput sequencing, microarray analysis, and quantitative-genetic surveys. According to the proposal document, even ancient embryos dredged from lake sediments will help extend a molecular record of evolution to 30,000 generations and create mathematical model for a theoretical framework to understanding evolutionary change in the genomes of asexual organisms.  

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