Post #0. June 2020. Where are we now? 04.05.2020

The project was selected in 2019, funding was delayed until January 2020, and of course all our work was severely slowed down in the last months by the Covid-19 related restrictions. Nevertheless, we were able to start some activities, and this post #0 is a short summary of what we did and what we are planning.

April 2020.  Planning the dissemination strategies: new web site (this one) and Twitter account. Gmail address available.

March 2020. Francesco Maroso joined the team at the University of Ferrara with the financial support of the project and the University of Ferrara.

March 2020. Planning the approach for the de-novo sequencing. PacBio and Illumina will be integrated with Omni-C libraries. Each species will follow a slightly different strategy, depending on the genome size, the ploidy, and the data already available.    

February 2020. Planning the 2020 sampling (depending on Covid-19 restrictions): Slovakia (for the bears), Ponza again and Aurunci mountains (for the butterfly), Eolia Islands (for the lizard), Liguria (for the toad).

December 2019. Francesca Raffini joined the team at the University of Ferrara with the financial support of the University of Ferrara.

November 2019. Enrollment of a new PhD student (Stefano Dalle Palle) at the University of Padova unit. Started working on breeders genotyping useful to select related and unrelated parents for the 2020 breeding experiments.

September 2019. PacBio sequencing of the Marsican bear Lauretta. Genome assembly in Ferrara using also the grizzly bear draft, N50 approximately 40Mb, number of scaffold approximately 350.

July 2019. Cell culture of fibroblasts for the Marsican bear was established.

Marsican bear fibroblasts

June 2019. Oral biopsy and blood sampling of the Marsican bear Lauretta hosted at the visitor centre of the PNALM in Pescasseroli. Collection in liquid nitrogen, ethanol, DNAgard, ETDA, dry (hairs). Blood samples for >10 individuals were transferred from PNALM to University of Florence for resequencing.

June 2019. Test of gamete survival after collection and transfer from the breeding center to the lab for the Acipenser naccarii study.

Acipenser naccarii sperms under a microscope

June 2019. Sampling of 10 Hipparchia sbordonii individuals at Ponza Island. Different buffer are tested for preserving the samples: liquid nitrogen, DNAgard, ethanol.

March 2019. Dry Hipparchia butterflies from the collection in Rome were sent to the Florence team for initial DNA content test on this kind of biological material.

Dry Hipparchia samples

February 2019. The group meets for the first time.

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