Two seaweed flies on a sandy beach.
Seaweed flies are used in this project as a model species to study evolution within inversions. The flies live among washed-up seaweed belts on sandy beaches.
Photo: Claire Mérot

Dynamic Variation: Evolution within Inversions

Research project
Active research
Project size
3 400 000 SEK
Project period
2022 - 2025
Project owner
Department of Marine Sciences

The Swedish Research Council VR

Short description

Inversions are large-scale mutations involving millions of nucleotides that are inherited together as a unit, promoting evolutionary processes such as adaptation and speciation. Inversions are dynamic and evolve through two intertwined processes where frequencies, as well as genetic content within an inversion, evolve simultaneously. A good understanding of inversion biology is lacking due to the fact that this process has not been encapsulated in evolutionary biology theories and techniques until now.
In this project we fill this knowledge gap and increase our understanding of evolution. We are generating new evolutionary biology models that focus on changes in genetic material inside inversions. We also test theoretically generated hypotheses and models empirically using the seaweed fly Coelopa frigida as a model species.