Seminar: From alpine beetle populations to Cretaceous moth radiation: can we connect the dots between microevolution and macroevolution?
By Dr. Yi-Ming Weng
McGuire Center for Lepidoptera & Biodiversity, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida, USA
Meeting ID: 927 2399 7895
Population genetics and phylogenetics are two main subfields of evolutionary genetics. The former investigates the genetic variations among populations within a species while the latter focuses on reconstructing phylogeny of many species using genetic data. In this presentation, I will present my previous work on the population genetics of an alpine ground beetle, Nebria ingens complex, in the Sierra Nevada in California and my current work on the deep evolutionary history of species radiation of Lepidoptera. In the alpine ground beetle study, I used genome-wide variants to characterize the population structure and demographic history. I found that the glacial refugia was in the low-elevation drainage basins of Sierra Nevada during the last glacial maximum, followed by the postglacial recolonization to the current high-altitude alpine zone. I also used genome-wide association approaches to identify the genes putatively associated with the postglacial elevational range shift, local adaptation to the heterogeneous environments, and the morphological variations. For the study of Lepidoptera species radiation, I use published high-quality lepidopteran genomes to explore the genomic evidence related to rapid diversification of modern lepidopteran lineages. The preliminary results suggest that the gene evolution involving host plant detection, phytocompound detoxification, and protein digestion play crucial roles in species diversification along with the Angiosperm radiation. Finally, I will provide my personal perspective on connecting population genetics (microevolution) and phylogenetics (macroevolution) for a more thorough understanding of evolutionary processes.