Together for Biodiversity

Livestock Genomics and Conservation - AGRIGENOMICS



Group Description

The main objective of AGRIGENOMICS is to apply cutting-edge genome mining tools to access the evolutionary and demographic history of domesticated species, their wild ancestors and parasites. Population genomics applied to animal breeding and conservation of genetic resources (Agrobiodiversity) is moving at a very fast pace and attracting the attention of many researchers throughout the world. This is particularly important as the conservation of local agrobiodiversity and its use, is among the most crucial challenges that developed societies face presently. Despite the many efforts made in the last decades, it is widely noticed that a vast portion of the local livestock breeds and their wild related taxa are seriously threatened of extinction.


The research carried out in the AGRIGENOMICS Group is mainly focused on population genomics, conservation and evolution of domesticated species and their wild ancestors. The correct knowledge on the amount of genetic variation, its geographic partitioning and, the genome architecture of a species is one of the fundamental premises to study the genetic bases of the phenotypic variance. Yet, a large number of questions related with the impact of domestication in the genome architecture from livestock species, still are unanswered. As livestock species spread around the globe, they encountered a variety of novel selective pressures (e.g., new environments, climates, diets, parasites), which likely resulted in some genetic adaptation to local environments. What was the role of the evo- lutionary processes (e.g., mutation, demography, and selection) in the adaptation of livestock species to such a broad range of extreme environments, from the cold Siberia to the hot and humid West Africa rain forests? Which functional variants that have been subjected to different selection pressures in different populations (e.g., local selection)? How much of the genetic variation is shaped by breeding, environmental pressure and/or novel emerging diseases?




Student Supervisions