The microcrustacean Daphnia, commonly called the water flea, is subject to intense biological investigations for over a century. Yet, maturing genomic tools for research, applied to questions that are built on the animal's ecology and population structures, transform Daphnia into a versatile model species for understanding (1) mechanisms of inheritance and development, (2) the process of physiological acclimation to changing environments and (3) the genetic plus environmental basis of complex phenotypic traits. A rich literature documents how Daphnia copes with environmental hardship; it is known to be a sensitive sentinel species in freshwater ecosystems and is widely used in ecotoxicological studies. Increasingly, Daphnia is being used as a surrogate species to understand genomic responses to environmental stressors that are important factors in human health and well being.
At present, the Daphnia Genomics Consortium consists of over 475 scientists from around the world, and growing. The DGC Collaboration Wiki helps coordinate the multidisciplinary, community-driven, investigations made possible by the application of genomics to Daphnia research. You are invited to participate. Begin by subscribing to the Mailing List.
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