Parallel evolution

The paths of parallel evolution and their genetic crossroads (2011-2015). Financed by the Portuguese Science Foundation – FCT (PTDC/BIA-EVF/113805/2009), Portugal.

This project seeks to clarify the nature of the genetic variation responsible for parallel evolution and ecological speciation.The principal investigator (PI) has established an international collaboration to study the genetic basis of parallel speciation in L. fabalis. Benefiting from the experience of well established research groups studying ecological speciation in littorinid species, the scientific merit and innovative nature of this project from an international standpoint offers a good opportunity for Portuguese institutions and scientists to occupy an important niche within European science. The project will employ an innovative sampling design and a multidisciplinary approach focusing on ecology, morphology, genomics, transcriptomics and modelling, with the aim of identifying and characterizing loci under disruptive selection among ecotypes in different geographic regions. This will allow us to shed light on the genetic mechanisms of ecotype evolution and more specifically, to understand if parallel divergent evolution evolves through the same genetic paths. In other words, how repeatable is ecotype evolution?

PI: Rui Faria
Initial research Team:
Rui Faria (CIBIO); Petri M. Kemppainen (University of Manchester); Alexandra Saa-Pinto (CIBIO); Emilio Rolan-Alvarez (University of Vigo); Fernando Lima (CIBIO); Antonio Gabaldón (CRG); Mónica- Martinez (University of Vigo); Juan Galindo (University of Vigo); Roger Kenneth Butlin (University of Sheffield).

Research team updates:
Unfortunately Mónica left to Madrid and is now working on completely different topics. However, Katja Nowick (University of Leipzig); Christine Altenrath (University Max Planck Institute- Cologne), João Carvalho (University of Lisbon), Diana Costa (University of Porto), Sandra Neto (CIBIO), Teresa Lago (Ecimat- University of Vigo), and Raquel Marçal (University of Aveiro) joined the project.

Stuart Baird (CIBIO); Kerstin Johannesson (University Gothenburg)


Publications associated with (inspired by) this project:

Carvalho J, Pereira C, Sotelo G, Costa D, Galindo J, Faria R (2015) De novo isolation of 17 microsatellite loci for flat periwinkles (Littorina fabalis and L. obtusata) and their application for species discrimination and hybridization studies. Journal of Molluscan Studies. doi: 10.1093/mollus/eyv014.

Faria R, Renaut S, Galindo J, Pinho C, Melo-Ferreira J, Melo M, Jones F, Salzburger W, Schluter D, Butlin R (2014) Advances in Ecological Speciation: an integrative approach. Molecular Ecology, 23, 513-521.

Nowick K, Carneiro M, Faria R (2013) A prominent role of KRAB-ZNF transcription factors in mammalian speciation? Trends in Genetics, 29: 130-139.

Elias M, Faria R, Gompert Z, Hendry A (2012) Factors influencing progress toward ecological speciation. International Journal of ecology. doi:10.1155/2012/235010.

Marianne Elias, Rui Faria, Zachariah Gompert and Andrew Hendry (2012). Ecological Speciation. International Journal of ecology. Hindawi Publishing Corporation. (Guest co-editor of a special issue in ecological speciation –



Other achievements:


  • Participation on the Littorina Genome Sequencing Initiative.


  • Development of species-specific flat periwinkles microsatellites.


  • Sequencing the genome and transcriptome of flat periwinkles.


  • Development of a geometric-morphometrics protocol for flat periwinkles.







Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s