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2CHANGE – To Change or not to Change? The genetic basis and evolution of seasonal coat colour polymorphism

2CHANGE – To Change or not to Change? The genetic basis and evolution of seasonal coat colour polymorphism

Seasonal coat colour change from a brown summer to a white winter coat is a pervasive trait across mammals in habitats periodically covered with snow. This remarkable adaptation has strong impacts in fitness, by allowing the maintenance of crypsis year-round. Winter colour is often polymorphic, with populations in areas with lower persistence of snow maintaining the summer coat in winter. It is therefore a phenotype strongly shaped by selection, with important consequences for future species survival, because climate change will tend to reduce snow-cover and disrupt crypsis in winter white individuals. We will study the genetic basis of seasonal coat colour polymorphism in three different species of weasels (Mustela spp.) and address evolution and population genomics of this colour polymorphism, which may have evolved independently across species.

Team
Principal Investigator
José Melo-Ferreira

José Melo-Ferreira

Position: Auxiliary Researcher
Group:
EVOCHANGE
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Researchers
Paulo Célio Alves

Paulo Célio Alves

Position: Associate Professor
Group:
CONGEN
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Rita Campos

Rita Campos

Position: Collaborator
Group:
EVOCHANGE
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Students
Mafalda Sousa Ferreira

Mafalda Sousa Ferreira

Position: PhD Student
Group:
EVOCHANGE
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Other members
L. Scott Mills (University of Montana), Karol Zub (Polish Academy of Sciences), Jaroslaw Bryk (University of Huddersfield), Rita Campos (Universidade de Coimbra)
State
Ongoing
Proponent Institution
ICETA-UP (CIBIO-InBIO)
Funded by
FCT, POCI-FEDER
Dates
2018 (Duration: 3 years)
Reference
PTDC/BIA-EVL/28124/2017; POCI-01-0145-FEDER-028124
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