Gene Regulation in Evolution: From Molecular to Extended Phenotypes
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: Projects 1-14 are initial RTG projects.
Projects 15-19 have newly emerged during the course of the RTG.
Numbers after the decimal point indicate the “generation” of PhD students.
Projects marked with "A" belong to associated PhD students. Their research is aligned with the aims of the RTG, but they are funded externally.
Information about individual projects:
Project 1.1 - MendezDNA methylation inference from archaeological bone: an epigenetic view of human adaptation to selective environments Project 2.1 - MulorzThe molecular evolution of splicing regulation Project 3.1 - PoetzschGene expression regulation in the adaptive evolution of the hypoxia-tolerant rodent Spalax Project 4.1 - ElzerEpigenetic information carriers in human sperm cells Project 5.1 - GovindComparative analysis of nematode small-RNA pathways using Gametocyte specific factor-1 (GTSF-1) Project 6.1 - Ceron-NoriegaComparative analysis of evolutionary changes in the transcriptome and proteome in nematodes Project 7.1 - ScaleraEvolution of gene regulation induced by the ultraviolet radiation stress response Project 8.1 - ConradyStructural Analysis of Monarch butterfly clock proteins Project 9.1 - EwerlingEvolution of 'cilia' proteins' gene regulatory functions Project 10.1 - PattersonEpigenetic diversity and adaptation in clonal whiptail lizards Project 11.1 - CoulmEpigenetic regulation of reproduction in ants Project 12.1 - CaminerThe role of epigenetic mechanisms in the regulation of division of labor in the ant Temnothorax longispinosus Project 13.1 - SistermansParasite interference with the expression of host gene regulation Project 14.1 - CarvalhoEvolution of molecular mechanisms regulating mutualism establishment Project 1.2 - TawfikThe recent evolution of human life history Project 2.2 - HallsteinThe role of m6A RNA modifications in the evolution of mammalian gene dosage compensation Project 3.2 - JelacicGene expression regulation in the adaptive evolution of the hypoxia-tolerant rodent Spalax Project 8.2 - CakilkayaEvolution of BMAL1/CLOCK dependant circadian gene regulation Project 9.2 - MaißlCo-option of cilia proteins in gene regulatory processes Project 10.2 - KuHybridisation, ploidy, dynamics and reproductive plasticity in whiptail lizards Project 11.2 - BolderRole of gene regulation in the social control of queen behavior in ants Project 12.2 - YildizThe role of gene regulation in division of labour in T. longispinosus Project 13.2 - BlasiParasite interference in the regulation of host gene expression Project 16.2 - AmarEmergence of novel regulatory networks from antagonistic interaction between transcription factors and transposable elements Project 17.2 - ZimmerEvolutionary diversity of sex-chromosome dosage compensation Project 18.2 - MüllerInvestigating the effect of environmental sex determination on gene regulation Project 19.2 - WilhelmEvolution of the cellular regulation of a neurotoxin in the Colorado Potato Beetle Project A.01 - StoldtThe transcriptomic basis of adaptive processes in ants of the genus Temnothorax Project A.02 - PsaltiConsistency and molecular mechanisms of ant behaviour Project A.03 - HoAllele-specific expression in whiptail lizards Project A.04 - CollinGenome-wide detection of selection & adaptation in a co-evolving slavemaking ant and its host Project A.07 - KalitaEvolution of dosage compensation in dipterans Project A.08 - BastMechanisms and evolution of peripheral visual processing strategies Project A.10 - LenhartMolecular regulation of division of labor and aging in social insects Project A.11 - WaghCellular and circuit properties that drive differential feature extraction in visual interneurons Project A.12 - FraserSex Determination in Termites Project A.13 - MichowiczAnalysis of Alg13 function during zebrafish germplasm formation