NAISS 2024/6-34


NAISS Medium Storage

Principal Investigator:

Niclas Backström


Uppsala universitet

Start Date:


End Date:


Primary Classification:

10615: Evolutionary Biology



The project is expected to continue, but with lower intensity, over the upcoming 1 year at least, with several reseachers working on different parts of the long-term projects and one additional student starting up a new project / research areas. Our WABI support staff will also work intensely with read mapping, variant calling and population genomic analyses of 194 whole-genome resequenced butterflies the upcoming year, and we foresee that this will require quite a lot of storage space. We would appreciate if we could keep our current storage) over the next year. The projects we run are quite diverse, but can be unified under an umbrella-goal that aims at understanding the genetic basis of adaptation and speciation in natural populations of butterflies. For that, we focus on two distinct study systems: 1) the wood white butterflies with extreme karyotype variation within and between species allow us to quantify the effects of structural variation on divergence processes, recombination rate variation, genetic variation and adaptive potential, and, 2) the extreme migratory behavior of the painted lady allows us to investigate the genetic basis of insect migration and how environmental factors affect variation in the behavior. We predominantly use comparative genomics (whole genomes of several individuals from multiple species), population genomics (full genome re-sequencing of many individuals), linkage mapping (GBS type data for very large sample sets), and expression profiling (RNAseq data for large sample sets). We have now also started to combine traditional omics data with epigenetic scoring (methylation), chromatin accessibility data (ChipSeq) and three-dimensional information of the chromosomes (HiC, 3D) to take the knowledge about mechanistic underpinnings of microevolutionary processes further. The inclusion of both traditional genetic data and novel structure data will likely increase our understanding also about the evolutionary consequences of different types of genomic, epigenetic and structural variation. The group consists of several associated researchers from other Universities, but the main research/computational work is done by a PostDoc, 2 PhD-students, 2 Master students and a WABI-support bioinformatician (Per Unneberg), working in the group of the main PI at Uppsala University. This group constellation will change over the upcoming year. The PI is permanently employed at UU and as a research group we are dependent on a continued access to a storage project with an allocation of storage space that allows us to proceed with the planned research.