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Origin of biodiversity in Gondwanan Arthropods: from phylogeography to phylogenomic (gondwana)
Start date: 17 Oct 2008, End date: 16 Oct 2011 PROJECT  FINISHED 

The goal of the project is to understand the origin of biodiversity and endemism in diverse gondwanan Arthropods. The study groups, Opiliones, Myriapoda and Onychophora, are distributed in all southern temperate Gondawanan landmasses. They are therefore adequate model groups to achieve this goal. This project will involve different scales and approaches. In order to understand the global evolution of the group, large-scale molecular phylogenies will be conducted. This part will comprise whole mitochondrial genome sequencing and analysis. The sequencing step includes the acquisition of new molecular biology techniques like long-PCR or rolling circle amplification. The analysis step includes the use of new methodologies like large scale phylogenetic parallel computing. This global and regional approach will allow testing if the present distribution results from vicariant or dispersal events. On a different scale, a comparative phylogeographic study will be conducted on the different regions. This part will allow testing hypothesis regarding rates and modes of speciation on a local scale in biodiversity hotspot. The applicant will receive high quality training in modern phylogenetic tools and methodology. Based on the study of mitochondrial DNA, the applicant will conduct a project going from microevolution (genetic structuration of populations) to macroevolution (phylogenomics).
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