Very high-resolution digital elevation models for multi-scale analysis in landscape genomics (GENESCALE)

At which spatial scale can selection be tracked? Very high-resolution environmental and genome-wide molecular characterization in Arabis alpina shall indicate if local adaptation acts locally or globally. Though termed local in the scientific jargon, adaptation to environmental variation is usually related to very coarse spatial resolution. In the interdisciplinary project GeneScale, financially supported by the Swiss National Science Foundation, we study the relationship between genomic variation and environmental conditions, using the Alpine rock-cress (Arabis alpina) as a model species of ecological genetics. In four study regions (Modiplant), we describe individual microsites on the basis of very high-resolution digital elevation models established through radiation data. These data will be assessed using an unmanned flying vehicle (senseFly) and transformed into ecologically relevant environmental factors. In parallel, we apply state-of-the-art molecular approaches (genome re-sequencing) to determine genetic variation at thousands of genes in individual plants sampled at various spatial scales. Regression-based statistical analyses shall demonstrate how genomic variation relates to environmental conditions under which indivuals are able to grow. Our results should thus reveal if local adaptation is local or is relevant on a broader geographic scale. Project partners : Christian Parisod, François Felber (University of Neuchâtel); Stéphane Joost, Ivo Widmer (EPF Lausanne); Michel Kasser, NIcolas Delley (Haute Ecole d'Ingénierie et de Gestion du Canton de Vaud); Felix Gugerli Künzle, WSL (PI) – collaboration: Prof Antoine Guisan, UNIL

Presented at:
Rechalp Symposium, University of Lausanne, October 29, 2015

 Record created 2015-11-02, last modified 2019-03-17

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