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How can a genome reveal influences of ecology on a species?

Genomes & Diversity - NYU Open Education
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  • Tim
I assume that if we were to analyze fossil evidence, etc, history of a species, we'll need to analyze the ecological system in which the species lives. Therefore we could compare changes in ecological system and species genome over time
By analysing whether specific environments lead to changes in the genome in multiple species it is possible to determine whether environmental influences affect different populations in similar ways. A good example is the stickleback. Several groups have looked at the freshwater populations in North America which all share a common ancestor in the oceanic environment, but have been geographically separated for hundreds of thousands of years in different freshwater areas. By comparing the genomes of these populations it has been shown that changes at the genetic level are replicable and is a good example of parallel evolution. Baird et al 2008 - http://www.plosone.org/article/info:doi/10.1371/journal.pone.0003376 The above paper gives a good overview of what the latest whole genome sequencing technology can achieve for the study of evolutionary ecology. :)

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