Evolutionary &Functional Analysis of Microarray Data

Project: Research project

Project Details


DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): This proposal seeks to quantify the
expression of thousands of mRNAs using microarray technologies in order to
determine the range and magnitude of variation in mRNA expression among
individuals and populations and to apply evolutionary analyses in order to
determine how much of this variation is either neutral or, alternatively,
biologically important. Based on our knowledge of genetic variation, many of
the changes in mRNA expression will represent random neutral genetic
differences, differences that do not produce biologically important phenotypic
changes. The application of evolutionary analyses can identify these random
variations in mRNA expression. Alternatively, some of these variations in mRNA
expression have evolved by natural selection and thus are biologically
important. Among the teleost fish Fundulus, populations in four different
species have independently evolved adaptive differences in glycolytic enzyme
expression and cardiac metabolism (Pierce. V. A. and D. L. Crawford, 1997,
Science 275:256-259). These four species provide replicate populations to
inquire whether similar changes in gene expression have evolved. This proposed
research seeks to take advantage of the differences among populations and
species of Fundulus to identify which variations in mRNA expression are
adaptively important and relate these adaptive gene complexes to the variation
in cardiac metabolism. Quantifying genome-wide variation in mRNA expression
using vertebrate species that have evolved differences in metabolism and gene
expression addresses basic questions concerning the importance of all the
enzymes in effecting a change in metabolic flux. This evolutionary approach
provides the means to distinguish random variation from adaptively important
variation and will lead to the discovery of patterns of mRNA expression that
affect cardiac physiology.
Effective start/end date7/20/026/30/07


  • National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute: $346,633.00


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