Next generation sequencing in non-model organisms: applications for conservation genomics

Dr. Robert Ekblom

Evolutionary Biology Centre, Uppsala University

As most biologists are probably aware, technological advances in molecular biology during the last few years have opened up possibilities to rapidly generate large-scale sequencing data from non-model organisms at a reasonable cost. In an era when virtually any study organism can “go genomic” it is worthwhile to discuss the ways in which this may impact molecular ecology and conservation biology. The first studies to put the next generation sequencing to the test in ecologically well characterised species without prior genome information were published in 2007 and the beginning of 2008. Since then an ever increasing number of studies have followed in their footsteps. In my presentation I will focus on how next generation sequencing has been, and can be, applied to ecological, population genetic and conservation genetic studies of non-model species, where there is no (or very limited) genomic resources. My aim is to draw attention to the various possibilities that are opening up using the new technologies, but I will also highlight some of the pitfalls and drawbacks with these methods. I will go through the practical workflows of non-model genomics projects and try to cover applications spanning the range of: whole genome sequencing, transcriptome characterisation, expression studies (RNA-Seq), molecular marker identification and candidate gene approaches. I will mainly use examples from my own research on wolverine (Gulo gulo) regarding whole genome sequencing and ruff (Philomachus pugnax) when discussing RNA-Seq, but will also highlight some ground breaking studies from other groups on various aspects of these themes.
Published Sep. 14, 2015 11:57 AM - Last modified Sep. 15, 2015 3:38 PM