Project overview

The research project on the analysis and regulation of the evolution of complex traits of animals was officially initiated in 2015, supported by the Strategic Priority Research Program of Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS). This project is mainly undertaken by the Kunming Institute of Zoology, CAS, with joint collaborators including the Institute of Genetics and Developmental Biology, Shanghai Institutes for Biological Sciences, Beijing Institute of Genomics, Institute of Hydrobiology, and Institute of Zoology, CAS. The aim of this research is as follows: by large-scale and cross-species evoluationary comparison, systemically integrate the massive data of different aninmal species in three levels, namely genetic factors, developmental network evoltion, and phenotype, in order to overcome the limits of static description and image relation, analyzing the causes of complex traits of animals, to realize a formula of eGPS (evolutionary Genotype-Phenotype Systems biology), therefore revealing significant biological phenomena. The accomplishment of this project will give new sights for the prevention of human chronic diseases, improvement of economic traits of poultry and livestocks, as well as bionics of special functions of annimals, supporting China to take important positions in the new round revolution of biological science and technology.
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  • Cranial capacity

    Aim to uncover the key genetic innovations during brain size evolution in chordates, to understand the genetic regulation of brain size during development, and to demonstrate the functional outcomes of genetic divergence for brain size regulation during evolution. Ultimately provide new ideas to study human central nervous system diseases.
  • Plateau adaptability

    Plateau represents extreme environmental living conditions including hypoxia, coldness and high dose of UV-irradiation, etc.. Endemic species living in the plateaus therefore faced to severe challenges and were supposed to experience strong selective pressures, which makes plateaus the perfect target for adaptive evolution studies.
  • Fat energy metabolism

    From the evolutionary point of view, the strategies of energy homeostasis and fat storage of different animal species varies greatly, to accommodate different physiological requirements and to adapt to highly variable environmental conditions. Understanding the underlying mechanisms and how they have evolved, is also of applied importance for human health and agriculture, and additionally provides a fundamental backdrop to other areas of the whole project.
  • Key Theoretical Model

    One direction Aims to understand the relationship of different forces and complex traits and the mechanism of different forces driving the microevolution of complex traits. Using computational approaches and population genomics analysis, we attempt to establish the connections between different forces and particular complex traits.