Evolutionsbiologie / Evolutionary Biology

Bewilligungen / Grants 2006

Doktorandenstipendium "Evolution of genes involved in immune responses to viral infections"

Bewilligung: 07.06.2006 Laufzeit: 2 Jahre

Evolutionary processes of host-pathogen interaction considerably shape the genomes of both organisms, favouring the development of resistance genes (host) and of immune escape mechanisms (pathogen). Notably, retroviruses impact the evolution of the vertebrate immune system. Retroviruses encounter dominant postentry restrictions in cells of particular species. 

Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV-1) for example is blocked by TRIM5alpha, a tripartite motif (TRIM) protein, in cells of Old World monkeys. Rhesus monkey TRIM5alpha more potently blocks HIV-1 infection than human TRIM5alpha. Recently, dozens of novel TRIM proteins have been indentified. Although most of their physiological roles are not yet clear, preliminary evidence suggests a rapid evolution and adaption to antiviral acitivity of some of the TRIM proteins. A cluster of TRIM genes is localised in the major histocompatibility complex (MHC), which contains a large number of genes essentially relevant for the immune response. The aim of this project is to study the evolution of the TRIM genes in the primate lineage and to functionally link these data with respect to potential resistance against viral infections.  

Deutsches Primatenzentrum GmbH, Göttingen
Abt. Primatengenetik
Anna-Maria Herr
Kellnerweg 4
37077 Göttingen

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Postdoktorandenstipendium "Population Genetics of Color Gene Regulation in the Lake Victoria Cichlid Fish Radiation"

Bewilligung: 03.04.2006 Laufzeit: 3 Jahre

East African cichlid fish offer a unique system to investigate how small differences in nucleotide sequence may result in the diversification of morphologies and speciation. The hypothesis of this project is that small genetic changes within regulatory regions may be identified which characterize diverging populations and which are the likely genetic basis for the evolution of color differences in speciating lineages. This hypothesis will be tested by first identifying genes with differential expression using microarray analysis of closely related populations of Lake Victoria cichlids. Following this, a cichlid BAC library will be utilized to examine the genomic sequences of these loci and their regulatory regions. On these sequences population genetic analyses will be performed to identify patterns relevant to speciation.

Universität Konstanz
FB Biologie
Lehrstuhl für Zoologie und Evolutionsbiologie
Dr. Paul Bunje
Universitätsstraße 10
78457 Konstanz
Tel.: 07531 884304

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Ausbildungskonzept "Munich Graduate Program for Evolution, Ecology and Systematics (EES LMU)"

Bewilligung: 30.03.2006 Laufzeit: 3 Jahre

At the Ludwig-Maximilian University the "Munich Graduate Program for Evolution, Ecology, and Systematics (EES LMU)" will be established in cooperation with the Max Planck Institute for Ornithology, Seewiesen. Its main elements are a two-year research oriented international Master's program and a three-year PhD program. The overall aim is to provide students with an optimal preparation for a career in academia or in industry. This program not only combines the graduate education in evolutionary biology in Munich into a coherent framework. In addition, several entirely new elements and course formats are introduced to foster early-on independent research, integrative education, and training in complementary skills such as scientific writing, presentation and discussion. With the same aim an annual conference and workshop for the Master and PhD students will be organized. Finally, the graduate program will be linked to the international network in evolutionary biology by the student-invited seminar-speaker program, the integration of international workshop and summer school courses into the curricula, and in particular by its own summer school program in evolutionary biology. The implementation of the program will be supervised by a scientific program coordinator.

Universität München
Dept. Biologie II
Professor Dr. Susanne Foitzik

Universität München
Dept. Biologie II
Professor Dr. Wolfgang Stephan

Universität München
Dept. Biologie I
Systematische Botanik
Professor Dr. Susanne Renner

Universität München
Dept. Biologie II
Professor Dr. Susanne Foitzik
Großhaderner Straße 2
82152 Planegg-Martinsried
Tel.: 089 21807 4235
Fax: 089 21807 4104

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Wissenschaftleraustausch "Conservation genetics of mouse lemurs (Microcebus spp.) in northwestern Madagascar"

Bewilligung: 27.03.2006 Laufzeit: 1 Jahr

The understanding of the distribution of individuals, populations and species in time and space requires profound knowledge on the application of extended analytical techniques on three different spatial scales. The aim of this scientific exchange with Dr. Lounès Chikhi, Université Paul Sabatier, Toulouse/France, is to acquire the necessary technical and theoretical skills to handle and analyse population genetic data (mostly genotypes of microsatellite loci) with appropriate state-of-the-art methodological approaches. In particular, it is planned to illuminate the processes of genetic differentiation among mouse lemur populations in a so-called continuous forest in comparison to those among fragmented populations scattered over the whole distribution range of a given species. Eventually, it is intended to test different phylogeographic scenarios and to disentangle ancient and recent processes of genetic differentiation over the whole distribution range. This new expertise will be used to further evolve teaching curricula and long-term research activities at the University of Veterinary Medicine, Hannover, in the field of evolutionary biology.

Stiftung Tierärztliche Hochschule Hannover
Institut für Zoologie
Priv.-Doz. Dr. Ute Radespiel
Bünteweg 17
30559 Hannover
Tel.: 0511 9538 430
Fax: 0511 9538 586

Université Paul Sabatier, Toulouse
UMR Evolution and Biological Diversity
Group Genetic population structure and genome evolution
Dr. Lounès Chikhi
118 Route de Narbonne
F-31062 Toulouse, cédex 4
Tel.: +33 561 556259
Fax: +33 561 557327

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Postdoktorandenstipendium "Duplication and functional divergence of transcription factors in the evolution of morphological diversity"

Bewilligung: 04.03.2006 Laufzeit: 3 Jahre

Understanding the molecular genetic mechanisms underlying biodiversity is presently an issue of high priority. However, not much is known about how biodiversity initially emerges in evolution. Evolutionary developmental genetics currently promises better answers to this enigmatic question, but details of how genes link development to evolution have remained scarce. In this project, a comparative study on orchid developmental control genes will be performed which aims to link molecular functional diversification with the evolution of floral features key to species diversity. To this end in vitro and in planta experiments will be used taking advantage of functionally relevant variations which were detected previously in a phylogenetically diverse collection of regulatory factors. By investigating the genetic basis of morphological variation this study will help to broaden the scientific platform of biodiversity and conservation research.

Universität Jena
Lehrstuhl für Genetik
Dr. Mariana Mondragón-Palomino
Philosophenweg 12
07743 Jena
Tel.: 03641 949300
Fax: 03641 949552

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Ausbildungskonzept "An integrative concept for Teaching and Research in Evolutionary Biology (iEvol)"

Bewilligung: 31.06.2006 Laufzeit: 3 Jahre

At the University of Cologne it is planned to establish an integrative concept ranging from school teaching to a PhD program with the overall objective to foster interest, knowledge and research in modern evolutionary biology. One element of this concept is the generation of teaching material for high schools as well as addressing the public by a public outreach program. Within the biology curriculum of the university, new lectures and course elements will be integrated into the first two semesters. For advanced students, three new specialized evolutionary modules will be offered. A central element of the concepts will be the provision of incentives for project proposals from Bachelor and Master students to work on evolutionary subjects. All these activities will be integrated into a concept for a PhD program in evolutionary biology within the framework of the SFB "Molecular basis of evolutionary innovations". In this context, special emphasis will be put on teaching of advanced evolutionary biology within an interdisciplinary curriculum.

Universität Köln
Institut für Genetik
Lehrstuhl für Evolutionsgenetik
Professor Dr. Diethard Tautz
Zülpicherstraße 47
50674 Köln
Tel.: 0221 4702465
Fax: 0221 4705975

Universität Siegen
Lehrstuhl für Biologie und ihre Didaktik
Professor Dr. Klaudia Witte
Adolf-Reichwein-Straße 2
57068 Siegen
Tel.: 0271 7403297
Fax: 0271 7404182
Homepage: http://www.uni-siegen.de/fb8/biologie/mitarbeiter/witte

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