Population Genetics and Cytogenetics Group (XB2)

Departamento de Bioquímica, Genética e Inmunología
Área de Genética. Universidad de Vigo






The Population Genetics and Cytogenetics Group of Vigo University is composed of about 20 researchers including 3 Full Professors, 4 Professors, 1 Isidro Parga Pondal researchers, 7 PhD students, and 3 laboratory technicians. The group has a marked multidisciplinary character, within the genetics area, in which several research lines converge addressing evolutionary issues (speciation, molecular evolution), genetic characterisation of species of commercial interest, development of informatics tools for the analysis of DNA and the design and management of conservation programmes. The group coordinates 5 laboratories: two for molecular genetic analysis, one for computing work, one for morphometric analyses, and one for cytogenetics. Several members of the group have an international reputation as evidenced by their work in the editorial boards of international journals. The scientific production of the group in the last five years (2010-2014) includes 86 papers published in SCI journals, supervision of 21 PhD theses and a number of computer tools for management, analysis and simulation of genetic data. .


  1. Armando Caballero (Professor; coordinator of the group) He has worked on theoretical and experimental topics in the fields of conservation genetics and evolution. His main interests are directed towards the development of theoretical models related with inbreeding, population structure, prediction and estimation of effective population size, and analyses of quantitative traits, as well as in the application of population genetics in the context of conservation of genetic resources.

  2. Paloma Morán (Professor) She is interested in population genetics and molecular cytogenetics of salmonids. Her research experience has been almost exclusively in the area of fish genetics. She has also large experience in molecular genetics, including hypervariable single locus minisatellite genotyping, mitochondrial DNA RFLP analysis, PCR amplification, DNA cloning, sequencing, genomic library construction, microsatellites isolation (di, tri, tetra) and molecular cytogenetics like fluorescent in situ hybridization (FISH) to metaphase chromosomes.

  3. Emilio Rolán-Alvarez (Professor) He works on evolutionary ecology and population genetics of marine snails, in particular focusing on causes of intraspecific variation mostly at very small scales at both phenotypic and molecular levels. Problems of special concern are the role of natural and sexual selection as well as the evolutionary mechanisms of speciation (evolution of reproductive isolation). He has experience also in developing new statistics to estimate sexual selection and sexual isolation effects for both qualitative and quantitative traits.

  4. Juan José Pasantes (Associate Professor) He works on mollusc and mammal Cytogenetics. The work on molluscs tries to identify bivalve chromosomes both using replication banding patterns and mapping repetitive sequence to mitotic chromosomes and synaptonemal complexes. The relative position of different DNA sequences is compared in order to infer the pattern of chromosomal evolution on those organisms. Comparative studies are also performed on human and primate chromosomes.

  5. Humberto Quesada (Associate Professor) His research is aimed at the elucidation of fundamental aspects of a species' biology such as patterns of dispersal and gene flow, mechanisms of speciation, as well as the detection of the characteristic fingerprint of natural selection on DNA sequences using both a gene-specific and a genome-wide approach. Research includes the molecular analysis of population and species biodiversity of marine animals, the evolution of mitochondrial DNA inheritance in bivalves, the evolution of multigene families, and the effect of selective sweeps on nucleotide variation.
  6. Antonio Carvajal-Rodríguez (Associate Professor) His main research interest is the simulation of evolutionary processes in the computer. He is currently interested in the simulation and study of speciation processes at the genomic level in non-model organisms. He is also concerned with the multiple testing correction issues in genomics and proteomics. He has developed computer programs to analyse and manipulate DNA sequences.

  7. Ángel E. Pérez Diz (Assistant Professor). His research has focussed on testing evolutionary hypotheses following several -omic approaches in different marine organisms, including the study of the unusual mode of mtDNA inheritance described in Mytilus spp. The final goal is contributing to a better understanding of the functional consequences of genetic changes and the molecular mechanisms underlying the processes of adaptation and ultimately speciation.

  8. Juan Galindo Dasilva (Isidro Parga Pondal Researcher) He is an evolutionary biologist interested in processes of speciation and adaptation. He has studied ecological speciation and the genetic basis of adaptation in the mariene snail Littorina saxatilis using markers and Next Generation Sequencing (NGS) tchnologies. Since 2011 he is Parga Pondal fellow at the University of Vigo to work on the genetics of speciation in marine gastropods using genomic tools.

  9. Líneas de investigación en biocomputación (Español)



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