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Molecular basis of adaptive phenotypic convergence in tropical Stone Oaks (Lithocarpus: Fagaceae)

Author Maria João AMARAL
Director of thesis Christian Lexer
Co-director of thesis Charles Cannon
Summary of thesis

Understanding the molecular basis of adaptation is a crucial goal in modern evolutionary biology. Here, we intend to investigate the evolutionary genetic mechanisms underlying phenotypic convergence of an adaptive trait using the tropical tree genus Lithocarpus as model organism. For this we will combine comparative genomic and transcriptomic approaches with traditional sequencing techniques to examine if phenotypic convergent evolution is due to parallel genotypic changes at the sequence level and can be associated with specific genetic elements within protein-coding and non-coding fractions of the genome. Additionally, we will investigate the potential contribution of other genetic processes such as for example gene silencing, pseudogenization or duplication to this convergence process. With this effort we expect to contribute further to a broader understanding of the mechanisms of adaptation and the generation of biodiversity.

Administrative delay for the defence