Principal researcher: Jaime Potti
Despite years of research, a thorough knowledge of relationships between genetic variation and fitness is in the core of population biology still. Such relationships are easier studied in model organisms reared in the laboratory for many generations, although results are not applicable to the wild.
The aim of this proposal is to enlighten the relationships genetic variation-fitness in a natural population of pied flycatcher (Ficedula hypoleuca). Genetic studies will follow the ones of successful research lines in this field: genetic variation will be studied by means of major histocompatibility complex genes and microsatellite markers, looking for correlations between genetic variation measured in this fashion and several fitness traits, and trying to understand the genetic basis of such correlations.
The difference and power of this proposal rest on the population to be studied. This exceptional population is being studied since its foundation in 1988, it lets making up pedigrees, and many fitness traits are known in detail through its history of life.