The molecular mechanisms and reversibility of fisheries-induced evolution - an experimental approach
I will sequence the expressed proportion of the genome, the transcriptome, of the experimental fish before and after selection using RNAseq to detect potential molecular signals of size-selective harvesting (1). RNAseq allows the survey of both sequence and expression level variation, thus increases our understanding of the biomolecular mechanisms of evolution (2). To confirm the results of RNAseq, follow-up studies will investigate the identified sequence and expression level differences in large numbers of individuals and in each generation.
Finally, I will look at the potential reversibility of the genetic changes by comparing the transcriptomic data before and after halting the selection (3).
The results will have considerable scientific importance as they contribute to the understanding of the mechanisms of evolution and societal importance as little is currently known about thegenetic effects of size-selective fishing despite the heavy exploitation of numerous fish stocks. Addressing questions concerning the extent of evolutionary changes, the reversibility of such changes and their consequences for sustainable harvesting, population recovery and species persistence is a vital step towards sustainable fisheries management.
University of Turku (Turun yliopisto)
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