View of the Abruzzo, Lazio and Molise National Park. Photo by Giorgio Bertorelle
Transposable elements (TE) largely represent what is commonly referred to as the dark matter of the genome, a non-coding portion of the genome that has so far been considered only as “selfish”” or “junk” DNA.First discovered in maize plants by Barbara McClintock, TEs are repetitive DNA sequences with the ability to mobilize within a host … Continue reading Studying the dark matter of the genome 09.05.2022
Our outreach activities have continued at full speed in the last months. Our journey full of scientific and dissemination efforts, challenges and successes have been constantly posted in this blog, Twitter and Instagram. An English and Italian glossary of relevant terms in evolutionary biology and conservation genetics has been created to help non-experts to better … Continue reading Where are we now? Part 6 – Outreach
We completed the controlled crosses to explore in vivo the functional impact of genetic load on fitness in the Atlantic sturgeon. Twelve inbred and outbred families were successfully produced, reared, and tested for fitness markers such as survival, growth, and response to light (phototaxis, details in the post: Studying the phototactic response of our Adriatic … Continue reading Where are we now? Part 5 – In vivo functional assays 30.03.2022
We obtained oral biopsies of the Marsican brown bear (small population) and the European brown bear (here the large Slovakian population was used as a control) to proliferate fibroblasts (live cells) in laboratory. Cell cultures were successfully established and maintained. Standard canine cell cultures and the original brown bear cell cultures described above were used … Continue reading Where are we now? Part 4 – In vitro functional assays 14.03.2022
Genomes can inform us on the amount of genetic load, i.e., the genetic variants that negatively affect survival and tend to accumulate during population’s contractions when closely related individuals breed. Estimating genetic load is not trivial as it requires knowledge on individual survival, which might be difficult to obtain in wild, elusive populations. Bioinformatics approaches … Continue reading Where are we now? Part 3 – Genetic load estimates and its consequences 21.02.2022
As soon as we received the resequencing data from individuals of the large and small population, respectively, for each of the five target species (details in the post: Here comes the data! 06.05.2021), we started processing and analyzing it to study genomic variation patterns and reconstruct demographic histories. These steps require a reference genome for … Continue reading Where are we now? Part 2 – Preliminary population genomics analyses 9.02.2022
The first step of the ENDEMIXIT project was to produce genomic resources for the five Italian endemic species, including de novo reference genomes and resequencing data for large and small populations. The reference genomes are currently at different stages owing to the diverse genome sizes, ploidy, heterozygosity, and available data. The de novo sequences were … Continue reading Where are we now? Part 1 – Genomic resources 25.01.2022
The italian newspaper “La Repubblica” just published an article about EndemixIT. Dissemination is a priority mission for EndemixIT as species conservation needs citizens involvement. Thus we are glad that the press is talking about us, helping the prject to reach a broad audience. Check out the paper here or in our “read more” section.
Poste Italiane S.p.A., the Italian postal service provider, has chosen two Italian endemic species to produce a series of stamps dedicated to the endangered species of our country. And guess what? They are both part of our project! We are talking about the Aeolian Lizard (Podarcis raffonei) and the Marsican Bear (Ursus arctos marsicanus). The … Continue reading Brand new stamps on two EndemixIT species 17.11.2021
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