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Adaptive evolution of meiosis in response to genome and habitat change

Total Cost €


EC-Contrib. €






 EVO-MEIO project word cloud

Explore the words cloud of the EVO-MEIO project. It provides you a very rough idea of what is the project "EVO-MEIO" about.

wgd    overcome    co    sexual    melds    evolutionary    exist    evolution    autopolyploid    prevent    stresses    pattern    discover    module    crop    adaptive    environmental    genetic    meiotic    doubles    model    constrained    biochemically    core    acted    arenosa    undergone    upset    reflects    associations    architecture    multiprotein    genome    eukaryotic    lineages    improvement    meiotically    critical    taxa    keeping    eight    fertile    stability    hypothesize    happens    nevertheless    instability    suited    evolve    environment    repeatedly    stabilization    proteins    cytological    transient    previously    occurred    rates    multivalent    functionally    sweeps    conserved    molecular    polyploid    duplication    eukaryotes    structures    rate    polyploids    divergence    house    potent    meiosis    stable    orchestrate    selective    crossover    functions    sequence    retune    reducing    multidisciplinary    becomes    rational    homolog    time    survival    insights    copies    showed    chromosome    primary    cellular    structural    genomic    rely    arabidopsis    fertility    showing    organisms    kingdoms   

Project "EVO-MEIO" data sheet

The following table provides information about the project.


Organization address
address: Raemistrasse 101
postcode: 8092

contact info
title: n.a.
name: n.a.
surname: n.a.
function: n.a.
email: n.a.
telephone: n.a.
fax: n.a.

 Coordinator Country Switzerland [CH]
 Project website
 Total cost 1˙972˙386 €
 EC max contribution 1˙972˙386 € (100%)
 Programme 1. H2020-EU.1.1. (EXCELLENT SCIENCE - European Research Council (ERC))
 Code Call ERC-2015-CoG
 Funding Scheme ERC-COG
 Starting year 2016
 Duration (year-month-day) from 2016-04-01   to  2021-03-31


Take a look of project's partnership.

# participants  country  role  EC contrib. [€] 
2    JOHN INNES CENTRE UK (NORWICH) participant 1˙221˙592.00


 Project objective

Organisms rely on conserved cellular “house-keeping” processes for survival and fertility, but many of these can be upset by common environmental or cellular stresses. What happens if such a challenge becomes more than transient? Meiosis is a well-suited model for understanding how a constrained multiprotein process can evolve; it is biochemically well characterized, critical for fertility in sexual eukaryotes, and its core structures and functions are conserved across kingdoms. Yet proteins that orchestrate meiosis often have high primary sequence divergence among taxa and in some cases have undergone selective sweeps. We hypothesize this pattern reflects a need to repeatedly retune meiotic structures to new conditions over evolutionary time. Environment and genome architecture can both affect meiosis, but a common and particularly potent challenge is whole genome duplication (WGD), which has occurred in most major eukaryotic lineages. But WGD doubles the number of copies of each homolog present, and this can lead to formation of multivalent chromosome associations in meiosis, which can cause meiotic instability and low fertility. Nevertheless, many fertile and meiotically stable polyploids exist, showing that evolution can overcome this challenge. Here we will study how meiotic stability evolved in autopolyploid Arabidopsis arenosa. We previously showed selection acted on eight structural meiosis proteins and hypothesize these co-evolved as an “adaptive module” to prevent multivalent formation by reducing genome-wide crossover rates. This multidisciplinary research programme melds cytological, molecular, genetic, and genomic approaches to discover how meiosis functionally evolved before and after WGD. This work will provide novel insights into how a functionally constrained multiprotein process can evolve in response to challenges, and by providing understanding of crossover rate evolution and polyploid stabilization, is also relevant to rational crop improvement.


year authors and title journal last update
List of publications.
2017 Christopher H. Morgan, Huakun Zhang, Kirsten Bomblies
Are the effects of elevated temperature on meiotic recombination and thermotolerance linked via the axis and synaptonemal complex?
published pages: 20160470, ISSN: 0962-8436, DOI: 10.1098/rstb.2016.0470
Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences 372/1736 2019-06-18
2017 Levi Yant, Kirsten Bomblies
Genomic studies of adaptive evolution in outcrossing Arabidopsis species
published pages: 9-14, ISSN: 1369-5266, DOI: 10.1016/j.pbi.2016.11.018
Current Opinion in Plant Biology 36 2019-06-18
2018 Andrew Lloyd, Chris Morgan, F. Chris H. Franklin, Kirsten Bomblies
Plasticity of Meiotic Recombination Rates in Response to Temperature in Arabidopsis
published pages: 1409-1420, ISSN: 0016-6731, DOI: 10.1534/genetics.117.300588
Genetics 208/4 2019-05-20
2018 Monnahan, P., Kolář, F., Baduel, P., Sailer, C., Koch, J., Horvath, R., Laenen, B., Schmickl, R., Paajanen, P., Šrámková, G., Bohutínská, M., Arnold, B., Weisman, C. M., Marhold, K., Slotte, T., Bomblies, K., Yant, L.
Pervasive population genomic consequences of genome duplication in Arabidopsis arenosa
published pages: , ISSN: , DOI: 10.1101/411041
BioRXiv 2019-05-20

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