Abstracts (first author)
The “omics” of inbreeding depression: a gene and protein expression study of conditional lethalityPDF
The study of inbreeding depression is relevant for agriculture, medical sciences, conservation and evolutionary biology. Although the population genetic principles of inbreeding depression are well known, the functional genomic basis remains poorly characterised. Recent studies have described changes in the metabolome and total gene and protein expression in inbred organisms. Functional studies enable us to explore mechanistic questions, e.g. what causes detrimental interactions between inbred genomes and environmental conditions. Since the complex and polygenic nature of general inbreeding depression makes this a difficult task, we focus on one aspect, conditional lethals in the fruitfly model system (Drosophila melanogaster). We present a detailed study of changes in the transcriptome and the proteome upon the triggering of a conditional inbreeding event, involving cold sensitivity and lethality. This study suggest that the inbreeding-related cold sensitivity in this line is caused by misregulation of normal mechanisms of cold tolerance. Therefore, study of the responsible QTL migth be informative about genetic variation in cold tolerance in outbred populations. In addition, we show that some of the changes in gene expression are part of a general signature of inbreeding depression.