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Wednesday, June 29 • 3:15pm - 4:30pm
P18: Examining Genomic Variants in a Polymorphic Species

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Poster    doi: 10.7490/f1000research.1112745.1

Authors 

Jennifer Callaway, Indiana State University
Rusty Gonser, Indiana State University
Elaina Tuttle, Indiana State University

Abstract 
Populations of individuals may now be sequenced due to new technological advances, allowing for studies into the correlation between the genome and behavior. Understanding the genome of a species is important for analyzing species adaptation and diversity. We seek to utilize genomic data to understand how variations in the genome are influencing behavior. We resequenced white-throated sparrows (Zonotrichia albicollis) with the Ion Torrent Personal Genome Machine (PGM) and identified variants, including single nucleotide polymorphisms, insertions, and deletions. Z. albicollis has two morphological variations due to a chromosomal rearrangement, resulting in different behaviors, including aggression, promiscuity, and nesting in diverse habitat types. To identify potential variants, we compared sequences to the NCBI reference genome of a tan male Z. albicollis. We hypothesize that genomic adaptations are correlated with phenotypic characteristics and expect phenotypic and genotypic differences to exist both within and between morphs due to individual differences. We further hypothesize greater genomic differences between morphs than within morphs due to reduced recombination within the rearrangement known to vary between morphs. We have currently identified 1172 unique variants in Z. albicollis (1088 SNPs, 18 insertions, 23 deletions, and 43 multiple nucleotide polymorphisms) within six sequenced individuals. Significantly more SNPs were identified than other variant types combined. Individual variants have also been identified which are unique to morph or sex. Understanding the genomic components driving behavior and local adaptation can improve management techniques for the conservation of species and habitat and improve understanding of how the genome impacts phenotypes, including behaviors and diseases.

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Attendees (3)