Office of Research, UC Riverside
Theodore Garland
Distinguished Professor, Evol., Ecol., and Organismal Bio
Evolution, Ecology & Orgns Bio
tgarland@ucr.edu
(951) 827-3524


OPUS: Experimental Evolution of a Complex Trait in a Vertebrate Model Organism

AWARD NUMBER
009051-002
FUND NUMBER
33353
STATUS
Active
AWARD TYPE
3-Grant
AWARD EXECUTION DATE
6/20/2017
BEGIN DATE
7/1/2017
END DATE
6/30/2019
AWARD AMOUNT
$198,201

Sponsor Information

SPONSOR AWARD NUMBER
1655362
SPONSOR
NATIONAL SCIENCE FOUNDATION
SPONSOR TYPE
Federal
FUNCTION
Organized Research
PROGRAM NAME

Proposal Information

PROPOSAL NUMBER
17010078
PROPOSAL TYPE
New
ACTIVITY TYPE
Basic Research

PI Information

PI
Garland, Theodore
PI TITLE
Other
PI DEPTARTMENT
Evolution, Ecology & Orgns Bio
PI COLLEGE/SCHOOL
College of Nat & Agr Sciences
CO PIs

Project Information

ABSTRACT

A basic question in biology concerns how complex traits, such as behavior, evolve in a coordinated manner across generations. A powerful way to address this question is through artificial selection experiments. This project will explore the evolution of complex traits by summarizing and synthesizing more than two decades of research involving replicate lines of mice that were bred for high levels of voluntary exercise. The project will result in two main products, a book and a web resource with a searchable data base of topics, available data, and available tissue samples. This combination of products will ensure this knowledge base is accessible to the general public, as well as to scientists. The book, web page, and data will be valuable resources for the research community by expanding scientific knowledge in the general areas of evolutionary genetics and organismal biology. Synthesis of this long-term research will also contribute to our general understanding of the biological control of levels of physical activity, and so may have important implications for human health and well-being, as well as animal welfare. Additional broader impacts include the training of graduate students, who will participate in the synthetic activities. Short videos targeting the public will also be created for an existing YouTube channel.

Data will be synthesized from research involving more than 80 generations of selective breeding in four replicate High Runner lines of mice, and four non-selected control lines. This long-term data set provides unique opportunities for integrative study of evolution across multiple levels of biological organization in ways that are not possible with simpler organisms, such as bacteria. These unique lines of mice constitute the best-characterized vertebrate selection experiment in history, but the overall body of knowledge has never been synthesized and presented in an accessible format. Examples of topics to be addressed in the synthetic activities include: adaptation, artificial selection, behavior evolves first hypothesis, coadaptation, constraints, costs, emergent properties, epistasis, genes of major effect, genetic architecture, genetic assimilation, genetic drift, genotype-phenotype map, hybrid vigor, inbreeding depression, life history evolution and aging, maintenance of genetic variation, multiple solutions, plasticity, pleiotropy, population differentiation, predictability of evolution, quantitative genetics, quantitative trait loci, trade-offs, unintentional selection, and variation at the individual level. Several large data sets will be compiled and made publicly available for the first time. The project will support graduate student training and emphasizes public outreach.
(Abstract from NSF)