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Next-Generation microbial population genetics using single-cell genomics

The objective of this project is to study population genetics and genetic structure of phytoplankton based on single-cell genomics. Specifically, the focus will be on genomic variation in Gonyostomum semen (raphidophyceae), a harmful invasive microalga.

Populations of Gonyostomum have expanded invasively across N. Europe, but populations in N. America are less invasive and display less disruptive phenotypes despite similar environments. A population genomic approach can be used to explore the detailed dispersal patterns, and to understand the genetic basis of the differentiation among populations. By using single-cell genome amplification, the effort and bias of algal culturing is circumvented.

This research project is part of SINGEK, a Marie Skłodowska-Curie Innovative Training Network devised to provide a unique and structured training programme to a new generation of scientists with the highest expertise in Single Cell Genomics, from the initial stages of cell sorting to genome sequencing and gene annotation, to the full exploitation of the data obtained. The network is composed of a multidisciplinary team of researchers from nine institutions, well connected and with high expertise in eukaryotic SCG.

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