Conservation and Evolutionary Genetics Group
  We use molecular tools to study the evolution of diversity, and assist in its conservation

Patterns and processes of genomic divergence along the speciation continuum in two recent evolutionary radiations: a multidisciplinary and integrative approach

Understanding the processes that generate and maintain biological diversity and how these interact with landscape history is a central theme in biogeography and evolutionary biology. Information across the whole spatiotemporal spectrum at which these processes take place is also necessary to preserve biodiversity at its different levels, from ecosystems and communities to unique intraspecific evolutionary processes. The study of recent evolutionary radiations is particularly attractive to address these questions because the signatures of such events have not been fully erased by time and thus provide the potential to infer processes from patterns in genetic data.

The goal of this project is to integrate next generation sequencing (NGS) techniques, detailed phenotypic information and spatial modelling to unravel the factors promoting recent evolutionary radiations and infer the underlying evolutionary processes behind spatial patterns of genetic, ecological and phenotypic divergence.

This project will use as model systems two species complexes of montane grasshoppers to understand the consequences of past climatic changes and the role of geography, environment and adaptation processes in 1) species diversification phenomena and 2) regional and local intraspecific patterns of genomic variation. Thus, we aim to track the organism diversification process from those stages that shape early genetic and phenotypic divergence at small spatial scales through the incipient speciation end, both of which are well represented in these species complexes composed by several recently diverged taxa but with different ecological and habitat requirements.

Participants: Joaquín Ortego (PI), Anna Papadopoulou, and Vicente García-Navas

Collaborators: Pedro J. Cordero and Víctor Noguerales

Some related peer-reviewed articles:

Ortego J, Aguirre MP, Noguerales V, Cordero PJ (2015) Consequences of extensive habitat fragmentation in landscape-level patterns of genetic diversity and structure in the Mediterranean esparto grasshopper. Evolutionary Applications, in press.

Noguerales V, Cáliz-Campal C, Cordero PJ, Ortego J (2015) Isolation and characterization of 18 polymorphic microsatellites in the grasshoppers Chorthippus group binotatus (Orthoptera: Acrididae) species complex. Conservation Genetics Resources, in press.

Yannic G, Pellissier L, Ortego J, Lecomte N, Couturier S, Cuyler C, Dussault C, Hundermark KJ, Irvine RJ, Jenkins DA, Kolpashikov L, Mager K, Musiani M, Parker KL, Roed KH, Sipko T, Þórisson SG, Weckworth BV, Guisan A, Bernatchez L, Côté SD (2014) Genetic diversity in caribou linked to past and future climate change. Nature Climate Change 4, 131-137.

Aguirre MP, Cordero PJ, Ortego J (2014) Isolation and characterization of polymorphic microsatellites in the specialist grasshopper Ramburiella hispanica (Orthoptera: Acrididae). Conservation Genetics Resources 6, 723-724.

Battiston R, Ortego J, Correas JR, Cordero PJ (2014) A revision of Apteromantis (Mantodea: Mantidae, Amelinae): A comprehensive approach to manage old taxonomic and conservation problems. Zootaxa 3797, 065–077.

Ortego J, Aguirre MP, Cordero PJ (2012) Landscape genetics of a specialized grasshopper inhabiting highly fragmented habitats: a role for spatial scale. Diversity and Distributions 18, 481-492.

Ortego J, Aguirre MP, Cordero PJ (2012) Genetic and morphological divergence at different spatiotemporal scales in the grasshopper Mioscirtus wagneri. Journal of Insect Conservation 16, 103-110.

Ortego J, Aguirre MP, Cordero PJ (2011) Fine-scale spatial genetic structure and within population male-biased gene-flow in the grasshopper Mioscirtus wagneri. Evolutionary Ecology 25, 1127-1144.

Ortego J, Aguirre MP, Cordero PJ (2010) Population genetics of Mioscirtus wagneri, a grasshopper showing a highly fragmented distribution. Molecular Ecology 19, 472-483.

Cordero PJ, Llorente V, Cordero P, Ortego J (2009) Recognizing taxonomic units in the field - The case of the crickets Oecanthus dulcisonans (Gorochov, 1993) and O. pellucens (Scopoli, 1763) (Orthoptera: Gryllidae): implications for their distribution and conservation in Southern Europe. Zootaxa 2284, 63-68.

Ortego J, Bonal R, Cordero PJ, Aparicio JM (2009) Phylogeography of the Iberian populations of Mioscirtus wagneri (Orthoptera: Acrididae), a specialized grasshopper inhabiting highly fragmented hypersaline environments. Biological Journal of the Linnean Society 97, 623-633.