Proposers

Eyal Privman, University of Haifa, eprivman@univ.haifa.ac.il

[separator style_type=”single|dashed” top_margin=”40″ bottom_margin=”40″ sep_color=”#eca168″ border_size=”” icon=”” icon_circle=”” icon_circle_color=”” width=”” alignment=”center” class=”” id=””]

Background

The genus Cataglyphis displays a diverse range of social structures. We focus on the bicolor group, where C. niger evolved polygyne, polydomous, and even supercolonial social structure, while other closely related species remained monogyne and monodomous. C. niger is also well-studied in terms of its chemical ecology, especially the Cuticular hydrocarbon profiles that underlie nestmate recognition.

 

[separator style_type=”single|dashed” top_margin=”40″ bottom_margin=”40″ sep_color=”#eca168″ border_size=”” icon=”” icon_circle=”” icon_circle_color=”” width=”” alignment=”center” class=”” id=””]

List of species to be genome sequenced

C. niger
C. savignyi
C. drusus

[separator style_type=”single|dashed” top_margin=”40″ bottom_margin=”40″ sep_color=”#eca168″ border_size=”” icon=”” icon_circle=”” icon_circle_color=”” width=”” alignment=”center” class=”” id=””]

Additionally required transcriptomic/genomic data

We plan to generate population genomic data by whole-genome sequencing of a pool of workers from each sampled colony.

[separator style_type=”single|dashed” top_margin=”40″ bottom_margin=”40″ sep_color=”#eca168″ border_size=”” icon=”” icon_circle=”” icon_circle_color=”” width=”” alignment=”center” class=”” id=””]

Scientific objectives

This project aims to discover the genetic basis underlying the nestmate recognition profiles of Cataglyphis colonies. We will use a population genomic approach to map genes associated with inter-colony variation in cuticular hydrocarbons. The identification of these genes in multiple closely-related species will open the way for a phylogenetic study of the evolution of nestmate recognition systems, which may underlie the transition from monogyne to polygyne social structure. Multiple high quality, de novo genome assemblies will also allow investigation of genome rearrangements that may be associated with the evolution of social structure.

[separator style_type=”single|dashed” top_margin=”40″ bottom_margin=”40″ sep_color=”#eca168″ border_size=”” icon=”” icon_circle=”” icon_circle_color=”” width=”” alignment=”center” class=”” id=””]

Possible further expansions

We are looking to coordinate the sequencing of reference genomes in the bicolor group with other projects in other Cataglyphis species.

[separator style_type=”single|dashed” top_margin=”40″ bottom_margin=”40″ sep_color=”#eca168″ border_size=”” icon=”” icon_circle=”” icon_circle_color=”” width=”” alignment=”center” class=”” id=””]

Sample availability

We are collecting the needed samples in Israel.

[separator style_type=”single|dashed” top_margin=”40″ bottom_margin=”40″ sep_color=”#eca168″ border_size=”” icon=”” icon_circle=”” icon_circle_color=”” width=”” alignment=”center” class=”” id=””]

GAGA integration

We will do the assembly ourselves.

[separator style_type=”single|dashed” top_margin=”40″ bottom_margin=”40″ sep_color=”#eca168″ border_size=”” icon=”” icon_circle=”” icon_circle_color=”” width=”” alignment=”center” class=”” id=””]

Available funding

We have already obtained funding from the Israel Science Foundation.

[separator style_type=”single|dashed” top_margin=”40″ bottom_margin=”40″ sep_color=”#eca168″ border_size=”” icon=”” icon_circle=”” icon_circle_color=”” width=”” alignment=”center” class=”” id=””]