Phenotypic variation between individuals and species is largely driven by differences in gene expression and arises from, among other things, natural selection. Gene expression is regulated via sequence- and non-sequenced-based mechanisms, including cis-regulatory DNA elements, transcription factors, non-coding RNAs, DNA methylation, histone modifications, and other posttranscriptional and posttranslational processes. The relative contribution of these factors in gene regulatory networks as well as the processes underlying their evolution are, so far, poorly understood.
The scientific aim of GenEvo is to gain a better understanding of the evolution of complex and multi-layered gene regulatory systems. We will investigate which regulatory processes are evolutionarily conserved, which are prone to change and which selective regimes they underlie. By transferring methods developed for model species to other taxa, we will study gene regulatory evolution in a broader intra- and interspecific context. Some projects will even focus on the coevolution of gene regulation, by revealing how interacting species interfere with each other’s gene regulation.
Hint: Project 1-14 are initial RTG projects. Projects marked with "A" belong to associated PhD students. Their research is aligned with the aims of the RTG, but they are funded externally.
- DNA methylation inference from archaeological bone: an epigenetic view of human adaptation to selective environments
- The molecular evolution of splicing regulation
- Gene expression regulation in the adaptive evolution of the hypoxia-tolerant rodent Spalax
- Epigenetic information carriers in human sperm cells
- Comparative analysis of nematode small-RNA pathways using Gametocyte specific factor-1 (GTSF-1)
- Comparative analysis of evolutionary changes in the transcriptome and proteome in nematodes
- Evolution of gene regulation induced by the ultraviolet radiation stress response
- Structural Analysis of Monarch butterfly clock proteins
- Evolution of 'cilia' proteins' gene regulatory functions
- Epigenetic diversity and adaptation in clonal whiptail lizards
- Epigenetic regulation of reproduction in ants
- The role of epigenetic mechanisms in the regulation of division of labor in the ant Temnothorax longispinosus
- Parasite interference with the expression of host gene regulation
- Evolution of molecular mechanisms regulating mutualism establishment
- The transcriptomic basis of adaptive processes in ants of the genus Temnothorax
- Consistency and molecular mechanisms of ant behaviour
- Allele-specific expression in whiptail lizards
- Genome-wide detection of selection & adaptation in a co-evolving slavemaking ant and its host
- Evolution of dosage compensation in dipterans