onsdag 22 december 2010
During the Häckeberga CanMove meeting in October, Staffan, Helena, Karin and Lasse started to discuss the possibility to use Daphnia pulex as an additional organism in CanMove´s search for “the migratory gene”. This organism is easily cultivated, produces a lot of cloned kids and, which is important, its genome is known. Later, when inspired by Steve Repperts talk on the Monarch butterflies during Miriam´s symposium on “Genetics of migration”, we decided to make this new initiative take real action. Our first steps have been to grow the organism and make some background search for information. So, in order to inform you all about this initiative, we hereby enclose a Christmas card from the lab. where the creatures are now reproducing and wishing us all a Merry Christmas and a Fruitful New year!
torsdag 9 december 2010
tisdag 7 december 2010
We were indeed honoured by the number of participants, and excited to literally welcome participants from all over the world - thanks to you all having made this long trip to participate. It was great having had so many enthusiastic scientists - all working on one or the other aspect of the genetics of migration - here.
The backbone of the meeting was formed by six talks, presenting state-of-the-art research focussing on different aspects, covering a diverse range of taxa, and introducing methodological approaches that have recently emerged.
Steven Reppert from the University of Massachusetts shared insight into genomic, genetic and epigenetic approaches to monarch butterfly migration his lively lab is currently working on. Michael Banks from Oregon State University told us how genomics could help to elucidate spatiotemporal aspects of pacific salmon migration.
Within the field of migration, research on migratory birds has probably the longest tradition, and the talks of Martin Schaefer from Freiburg University and Staffan Bensch from Lund University focussed on microevolutionary processes and patterns of genetic and phenotypic variation along migratory divides in two migratory songbird species. Migratory divides as well as hybrid zones are great natural laboratories to study evolutionary processes and speciation, and the talks given by Anna Qvarnström and Jochen Wolf, both from Uppsala University, focussed on what we can learn from a Flycatcher hybrid zone, and how a genomic approach help us to incipient speciation in Carrion and Hooded crows.
Besides excellent talks, the highly interactive meeting included lively poster session and general discussions, sharing information and experience on the changes due to revolutionary technological achievements in this field. We closed the symposium with a plenary discussion evaluating methodological approaches to be focused upon, and critically assess possibilities and pitfalls thereof. The discussion also highlighted both importance and challenge of most accurately defining and controlling the target phenotype in focus, as well as including environmental variables in experimental design and analyses.
Discussion and plans for future projects, ideas for further development and collaboration continued over dinner – and will most certainly continue long thereafter.