Genetic Biodiversity

EMBC+ MODULE 1: Understanding the structure and function of Marine Biodiversity

Lesson 1. Population genetic structure and gene flow. Population differentiation, F analysis. Indicators of population mixture. Wahlund effect. Distribution of genetic variation within a species and its determining factors.
Case study: Population genetic structure of marine species with different dispersal capacities.
Lesson 2. Natural selection, adaptation and genetic diversity. Fitness in marine organisms. Neutral and selective variation. Interaction genetic variation-environment; adaptation. Genetic diversity and conservation.
Case study: Global change effects on population genetics of marine species.
Lesson 3. Intra- and inter-specific diversity. The Barcoding of Life projects. Fish BoL.
Case study: Aplications of Barcoding and other genetic inventories to conservation programmes.
Lesson 4. Beyond biodiversity: metagenomes. DNA variation and ecosytem functioning. Metagenomes in different environments.
Case study: Marine metagenomes
5) Presentation and discussion of final seminars on case studies and the class project by students. Summary and conclusions of the course.
Class project
Combining field and analytical work, students will investigate a relevant question about the spatial distribution of a genetically determined trait in a model species, and its association with environmental factors (distance to freshwater sources, tidal level etc.)
Software to learn and use (it may vary depending on the project): ARLEQUIN (Schneider et al. 2000)

Bottleneck, Conservation, Fitness, Gene diversity, Genetic polymorphism, Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium, Mitochondrial genomes, Nuclear genomes, Population size, Population structure

Introductory genetics


Understanding the key factors that shape population genetic structure; recognising the value of genetic biodiversity for population and species conservation; acquaintance with most popular software.