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Minimize RSR Award Detail

Research Spending & Results

Award Detail

  • Drew A Larson
Award Date:05/11/2021
Estimated Total Award Amount: $ 216,000
Funds Obligated to Date: $ 216,000
  • FY 2021=$216,000
Start Date:05/01/2022
End Date:04/30/2025
Transaction Type:Grant
Awarding Agency Code:4900
Funding Agency Code:4900
CFDA Number:47.074
Primary Program Source:040100 NSF RESEARCH & RELATED ACTIVIT
Award Title or Description:NSF Postdoctoral Fellowship in Biology FY 2021: Uncovering the Genomic Basis of Adaptation in Quercus alba, a Model for Forest Trees
Federal Award ID Number:2109716
Program:NPGI PostDoc Rsrch Fellowship
Program Officer:
  • Diane Jofuku Okamuro
  • (703) 292-4508

Awardee Location

City:Ann Arbor
Awardee Cong. District:

Primary Place of Performance

Organization Name:Indiana University
Cong. District:09

Abstract at Time of Award

This action funds an NSF Plant Genome Postdoctoral Research Fellowship in Biology for FY 2021. The fellowship supports a research and training plan in a host laboratory for the Fellow who also presents a plan to broaden participation in biology. The title of the research and training plan for this fellowship to Drew A. Larson is “Uncovering the genomic basis of adaptation in Quercus alba, a model for forest trees”. The host institutions for the fellowship are Indiana University, the Morton Arboretum, and the University of Kentucky, and the sponsoring scientists are Dr. Matthew W. Hahn, Dr. Andrew L. Hipp, and Dr. C. Dana Nelson. Forest trees are valuable crop species and are central to the functioning of many natural and managed ecosystems. Oaks in particular are some of the most abundant and ecologically important trees in North America. They provide food and habitat for wildlife and raw materials for a variety of construction and cooperage industries. Understanding how populations of oak trees adapt at local and regional scales will provide insight into how these and other species will be affected by climate change and pest pressure in the coming decades. Oak species are known to produce hybrids with one another, allowing genes to move among species. However, much less is known about how this sharing of genes impacts how oak populations adapt to their local environments. This research will address how adaptation and hybridization interact to affect the genomes of oaks in the Eastern United States. It will also shed light on the evolution of genes that provide resistance to disease, which may prove useful for genetic improvement efforts in these economically valuable species. The Fellow will mentor undergraduates in research projects related to the scientific goals of the project. He will also develop an annual series of outreach events in collaboration with the Morton Arboretum in which participants will learn about trees (and other plants), genomics, and how to pursue a career in STEM. Population genomic and comparative genomic methods will be used to uncover the adaptive forces that shape the genomes of oaks (Quercus spp.), and the white oak (Quercus alba) in particular. The genomic regions and functional classes of genes involved in local and regional adaptation to climate in Q. alba populations will be investigated, with the goal of developing a fundamental understanding of the genomic basis of adaptation in Q. alba. Sampling of natural populations to be sequenced will be focused at the northern and southern extremes of the current range of Q. alba, in order to provide the greatest contrast between environments and to maximize power to detect adaptive differences. The project will investigate genomic introgression into Q. alba across its range and examine whether congeneric species have contributed alleles of adaptive significance. The project will also investigate the evolution of disease resistance genes across Quercus in a phylogenetic context. Data generated during the project will be highly reusable and extendable for future research and will be available online to facilitate its continued use by the scientific community. Research outcomes will be shared broadly, both at academic conferences and public-facing seminars throughout the Fellowship. Keywords: comparative genomics, forest trees, gene family evolution, plant genomes, population genomics, natural selection, R genes. This award reflects NSF's statutory mission and has been deemed worthy of support through evaluation using the Foundation's intellectual merit and broader impacts review criteria.

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