Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Units Program: Pennsylvania
Education, Research and Technical Assistance for Managing Our Natural Resources

Pennsylvania Project

Landscape transcriptomics as a new tool for natural resources management

January 2021 - December 2021


Participating Agencies

  • Penn State University

How does habitat connectivity and composition affect genetic diversity and adaptive potential? Landscape genetics combines population genetic (using DNA sequence variation) and landscape ecology analyses to address this question. However, a DNA sequence only approach ignores the differences in relative expression of genes that also differ between populations, and importantly, covaries with variables such as stress or other physiological responses. These snapshots of gene expression patterns ("transcriptomes") add key information about an organism's condition. We believe it is time for a new field of "landscape transcriptomics". Landscape transcriptomics could address similar questions as landscape genetics, but also tackle issues such as how landscape features affect stress and health of populations. This project will develop this field with a focus on applications to fisheries conservation and management, response of organisms to rapidly changing environments, and response of bee populations to nutritional resources, parasites, and pesticides.