• CRG
  • CRG
  • CRG

Taking a closer look at DNA: using sequencing to explore evolution and biodiversity

The Project

Does the fish that is sold at the market really belong to the specimen that it is told us? Is surimi made of real fish? Do you want to be the first to catalogue new living organisms before they disappear forever? In this project you will design your own research project based on the sequencing of fish species with the aim of answering these and other questions and to contribute to real science. How? By generating real data that will be published in the international data base “Barcoding of life”, in order to be used by the entire researchers community.

By studying the variations in short stretches of moderately conserved genes, scientists can quickly and objectively figure out the biological identity of anything that contains DNA. Being able to quickly identify a species is critical – the biodiversity on our planet is rapidly decreasing, and using unique genetic sequence identifiers (“barcodes”) can help to catalogue living things before they disappear forever. Moreover, this process can provide key insights into the mechanism of evolution through speciation.

In this project you will be introduced to new concepts and methodologies in molecular biology to design your own research project based on the sequencing of fish species with the aim of identifying variations important for studying evolution and ecology. During your investigation you will generate real data that will be published in the international data base “Barcoding of life”, in order to be used by the entire researchers community, thus being part of a worldwide scientific project.

This database uses the DNA barcoding, a taxonomic method that uses a short genetic marker in an organism's DNA, to identify it as belonging to a particular species. We will focus on identifying important variations for studying evolution and ecology, using sequences to infer animal inter-relationships or cryptic-species of fish. Each of you will work in a real research environment, share knowledge and tackle technical problems within the scientific team. We hope to awake your passion for science and entice you into a research career.

Matching profiles

Biology, genetics, bioinformatics, biotechnology

Required materials

Lab coat, laptop

Coordinator of the project
Nieves Lorenzo

Nieves Lorenzo

Nieves Lorenzo has a Bachelor in Biochemistry Degree from University of Barcelona (UB) and a Master’s Degree in Biomedical Research from University Pompeu Fabra (UPF). After different internships and working positions in Europe, such as a microbiological production startup in Belgium and a Forest Research Institute in Finland, she started to work at the CRG in 2012. Now she is carrying on her PhD project at the CRG, in the laboratory of professor Gian Gaetano Tartaglia on his Gene Function and Evolution laboratory. Her main scientific interest resides in better understanding biochemical mechanisms of toxicity in neurodegeneration, e.g. in Parkinson’s or Alzheimer diseases.

Associated researchers
Anna Alcaine

Anna Alcaine

Anna Alcaine graduated on Biotechnology in 2014 at University of Barcelona (UB) and did a Master’s Degree in Biomedical Research at University Pompeu Fabra in 2015. She carried out her master’s thesis in the laboratory of Dr. Luciano Di Croce at the CRG, where she started her PhD in September 2015. Her PhD project is focused on understanding the link between pluripotency and cell cycle in mouse embryonic stem cells, to identify novel determinants of the pluripotent state of these cells. This could have an impact on research and innovation, not only in the field of stem cell biology and epigenetics, but also in Biotech industry or human health.

The center
CRG

The Centre for Genomic Regulation (CRG) is an international biomedical research institute of excellence, whose mission is to discover and advance knowledge for the benefit of society, public health and economic prosperity.