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Model species Daphnia: A Genome for the Environment

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Daphnia, or the water flea, is a sentinel species of freshwater ecosystems. Their populations are defined by the boundaries of ponds and lakes, are sensitive to modern toxicants in the environment, and thus are used to assess the ecological impact of environmental change. Their short generation time, large brood sizes, and ease of laboratory and field manipulation have assured Daphnia’s importance for setting regulatory standards by environmental protection agencies, for testing chemical safety, for monitoring water quality, and as a model for ecological genomics research. In this study, we take advantage of the animal’s clonality and mature genomics tools to partition the sources of gene expression variation in the stress response of genetic isolates to multiple environmentally relevant conditions, thereby providing new insights into the functional interactions among genes and environment. Part of the research was conducted during hands-on training in “Environmental Genomics” – an annual summer course offered at the Mount Desert Island Biological Laboratory.

This talk is part of the Evolution and Development Seminar Series series.

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