Transposable elements (TEs) are abundant, mobile DNA sequences whose behavior can have profound evolutionary impacts. Recent research has shown that they can modify gene regulation and drive structural rearrangements of chromosomes. Despite half a century of investigation, fundamental questions remain unanswered about the evolutionary consequences of TE activity, the evolutionary forces determining the distribution of TEs across taxa, and the frequency with which TEs are co-opted by natural selection to increase fitness and create adaptive innovations. Continue reading “Transpose”
The premise for all natures magnificent variation in species, life strategies and adaptations is differences in the DNA code. These genetic differences can be traced back to the sequence of the code, how DNA is organized into chromosomes and, ultimately, how the code is used to produce proteins in each cell type. Hence, if we wish to understand how new adaptations and species arise, we need to understand how new DNA-variation arise through mutations and how these novel variations in the DNA-code gives rise to new functions.
GENEInnovate (9MNOK, Norges forskningsråd)
Norwegian breeding companies focusing on cattle, pigs, salmon and plants offer genetic material (germ cells; sperm, eggs, and seeds) in a highly competitive, global market and are under constant pressure to develop new, innovative products demanded by growers, food manufacturers, and consumers. Traditional methods for breed/strain improvement are relatively slow and imprecise, and are constrained in that they can only build upon genetic variation already existing in the companies breeding core. Continue reading “GENEinnovate”
How can we increase the omega-3 content of salmon that are fed sustainable feeds? A brand new map of the salmon’s genome makes it much easier to characterize heritable differences in how well different salmon families utilize the various nutrients.
DigiSal is about systems biology for salmon farming. That means understanding the living fish body as a set of components – gut, liver, muscle and other organs – that both affect each other and depend on each other. Such a systems understanding will help salmon farming in the future to navigate conflicting demands – of sustainability, shifting feed prices, diseases and product quality. The industry needs to develop a flexible, integrated basis of knowledge for rapid response to new challenges. Continue reading “DigiSal – systems biology for salmon farming”